Local Upcycling – Carpets Made From Post-Consumer Denim
The EU has set a goal to send all textile waste back into Europe-generated circulation by 2025. But how should it be done and what are the potential solutions?
Currently, many countries don’t do any form of waste reappropriation. Estonia is a great example of how textile waste goes into landfill or gets burned – both equally bad for the environment. Thus, the second-largest polluter, the fashion industry, is a major waste generator. Just making one product uses a lot of resources, and that’s why a linear or “take-make-dispose” economy is a big burden on our planet.
For many years, we at Reet Aus have focused on finding better solutions in product development to make every process in the company as environmentally friendly as possible. Our main focus has been on industrial upcycling, but we have also dabbled in recycling and local upcycling. Here’s a story about our latest product development in local upcycling – making carpets from post-consumer denim.
Back in January, we started a long-term collaboration with a small business called Koome Koos. They are an Estonian based, women-led, company, who specialise in weaving carpets and blankets. We love supporting local businesses as they often have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies. First, we asked our Arrow Tribe community to donate their old jeans so we could start testing and prototyping different carpets. Reet made the design and continued to work with the ladies to find the best patterns and techniques. The most time-consuming and difficult step was to turn jeans into a material that could be used to weave the carpets. Stripping jeans by hand was tedious and took a long time. The solution came through an overlock machine that allowed even strips to be produced faster.
Once the strips were ready, we started prototyping. It took some time to find the right technique, fabric, warp, and design, but in the end we got the samples ready. Three different sizes, with the two smallest sizes in different shades. In addition, we opted for a thread that is 100% natural hemp fibre.
When we started looking at how long the process took and what the price would be, we quickly came to the conclusion that other products like this on the market were too cheap. Therefore, we wanted to share the time it takes to complete these products, in order to help you understand the value of these carpets.
It took the ladies at Koome Koos this much time to produce the carpets:
Furthermore, we wanted to let you make the final decision on how much you are willing to pay. They all have a fixed production price: 60x80 cost 42€ to make; 80x150 cost 140€ to make; 150x200 cost 325€ to make. Also, they all follow our new pricing policy principles and the markup on all products is 2-3x (+ VAT). However, we don’t want to have a set retail price. Our goal is to showcase the time, craftsmanship, and dedication it takes to produce these, putting the pricing in your hands. We created different price points so you can choose how much you want to support local businesses and the craft-community. When you decide to pay more, the ladies at Koome Koos will earn more. However, the final price is completely up to you.
You can shop the carpets here.
The carpets are made to order. Delivery takes around 3 weeks. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.