Injecting new life into production off-cuts
Since the beginning, Verry Kerry has been passionate about giving back to less fortunate communities, with a core vision of building a brand that would champion sustainability, and a more fair and ethical society whilst creating unique, and smile inspiring clothes and accessories.
Today, the clothing industry faces several accusations related to its creation of waste both during the manufacturing process as well as the so-called post consumer waste, mainly fueled by the poisoned throwaway culture created by the cheap, fast fashion industry.
Finding ways of recycling textile waste as an alternative to landfill disposal is an ecological problem on which the industry is already working, however “it is estimated that more than 1 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year in the UK alone. At least 50% of the textiles we throw away are recyclable, however, the proportion of textile wastes reused or recycled annually in the UK is only around 25%”.
The main problem is that “existing cotton recycling methods make poor-quality fibers, and there is no efficient way to recycle garments of mixed materials, so the vast majority of clothes end up in landfill”.
For us it has always been important to create versatile pieces that did not follow “one-season” fashion trends and that customers could get many uses out of year after year. At the same time we have made a commitment to try and eliminate waste from production as much as possible and have been looking at different ways to achieve this.
Have you ever wondered what happens to all the off-cut fabric that is left over after the manufacturing process?
We did. And for this reason we have set out on a journey with our friends at
NGO Swechha in Delhi, that create really beautiful, exceptionally made pieces combining our leftover fabric off-cuts with other upcycled materials to give them a second, vibrant life.
Swechha is dedicated to making a visible difference to the Environment- both Physical and Social- by upcycling waste and creating employment for people from marginalized sections of society, engaging them in production and sales. They also do wonderful things working with the youth of Delhi through adolescent empowerment programmes supported by EMpower. Guided outings, events, music and lessons are all part of the project with adolescents regularly attending the sessions on themes of identity, social efficacy and resourcefulness. Youth leaders continue to inspire the younger ones and the community.
The Swechha Workshop, where the magic happens.
Children enjoying the benefits of the empowerment programs.
They (re)use pretty much anything for their creations: tyre tubes, juice cartons, milk packets, beer cans, chips packets. Nothing is wasted. So... what for many is just waste, for us became a great opportunity to expand our collections, whilst supporting local communities and helping India (Delhi in particular) tackle a huge environmental problem.
The Inca Beam & Stitch bag and our pretty Napkins were the first pieces made by re-using these fabrics, but we are now proud to introduce a brand new collection of accessories: pouches, wallets, fabric covered notebooks and a really awesome weekend bag.
Our beautiful upcycled accessories.
We are extremely proud to collaborate with such an awesome organisation as Swechha and will continue to do all we can to tackle the enormous waste issues we face in creating lots of new exciting upcycled pieces in the future.
How can you help?
Getting more out of your garments:
A great starting point is avoiding aggressive washing methods and choosing washing liquids/powders that contain little or no phosphate which are harmful for the environment. We recommend giving soap berries (also known as soap nuts) a try, which are a great option as they are highly-effective and gentle at the same time. You can find them at http://www.soapnuts.co.uk/
If you want to know more or would like to share your story/knowledge on the matter, we would love for you to leave a comment below.