Depending on who you ask, we are either hoarding scraps or working to reduce fashion waste. It’s possible both things are true.
At the end of the work day, our wonderful sewing team gathers all of the resulting clippings into some clear plastic containers. These containers are sorted by size, so big scraps go into one, tiny scraps go into another, and so on. Our biggest creative challenge has been determining how to make use of these scraps so nothing goes to waste. Here’s how Fern & Moon goes waste-free!
What is zero waste?
Like most things in the fashion industry, there isn’t much in the way of standardization, but generally zero waste
refers to clothing that produces little to no textile waste in its production. It’s like the more specific and targeted little sister to Sustainability.
Companies can reduce their waste in a number of ways:
- The pattern can be created to fit together like a puzzle to minimize scraps, which are called off-cuts.
- The off-cuts can be saved and used for smaller pieces, like pockets, cuffs, and buttons.
- The smallest scraps can be recycled, or used as stuffing in things like pillows!
How is Fern & Moon reducing fashion waste?
- Our largest scraps are saved and sewn into scrunchies which we gift to brides. They’re a fun memento, and a gentle way to tie your hair back.
- Smaller scraps are cut into circles, stacked, and then sewn into delicate flowers which we use on veils and dresses. They’re so beautiful, no one would know these designs were born out of problem-solving sustainable practices.
- The smallest pieces, little clippings, and threads are collected and used in an upcoming quilted jacket design. Robert, one of the wonderful Fern & Moon sewers, specializes in recycling materials with quilting, and he’s developed some gorgeous techniques that utilize these little pieces as textural filling.
Why is sustainable fashion important?
Fashion produces an unbelievable amount of waste
(something that becomes particularly obvious when you start saving it all in clear plastic bins). If all of these offcuts went to the landfill, we’d be parting with beautiful, usable materials and further adding to the problem. Starting these practices while our company is young means we can plan for the future, and we have a system in place as things grow!
The wedding industry can also produce a great deal of waste. There are a lot of one-use purchases that go into weddings, so looking for ways to reduce our impact also helps couples on the hunt for sustainable alternatives. It’s well known that a suit purchased for a wedding will get lots of use in the years to come, but bridal separates are another way to turn a one-use purchase into something that has a life after the wedding.
Shop the pieces
Here are some examples of the veils that use our fabric off-cut flowers:
The Nova Veil
This statement piece features semi-sheer cascading flowers clustered around the top like a halo. They use organza offcuts from the Margaret overskirt, and are designed to compliment the piece when worn together.
The Halley Veil
Small polka dot organza offcuts create the climbing flowers on this veil. They use leftover pieces from our upcoming wrap shirt and ruffle overlay.
We’ll keep thinking of more ways to use leftover fabric, sometimes the most beautiful designs come from creative problem-solving!