Katla and Shelly Xu Design Debut Fashionable zero-waste jacket – WWD

For fashion’s sustainability overhaul to really take root, the industry can learn a thing or two from “Chopped.”

The Food Network cooking show challenges contestants to combine all the foods they have in their baskets into a creative dish. In other words, it challenges them to create a dish based on what they have, rather than dreaming up a dish and then sourcing the ingredients – at any cost – to create it.

That’s how Shelly Xu approaches zero-waste design – by letting the components or raw materials she has, inform what she’s going to design. She is going from fabric to concept to garment, not from concept to fabric to garment. And the difference is a lot of fabric waste.

In a new partnership between sustainable fashion brand Katla and zero-waste startup Shelly Xu Design, or SXD by Xu, a standard hoodie has been treated with zero waste. The lacing has resulted in a hoodie that uses 25% less fabric than its traditional counterpart. That means 25% less raw material consumption and 25% less raw material cost.

For Katla, already a proponent of zero-waste manufacturing, it means a new kind of waste-saving synergy born from combining zero-waste manufacturing with zero-waste design – a cooperation that seems both obvious and necessary.

Aslaug Magnusdottir, founder and chief executive officer of Katla, co-founder and former CEO of Moda Operandi, said: “By combining those two ways of doing things, zero-waste design and zero-waste manufacturing, We will have something more powerful. .

“I just think it’s a perfect way to tie everything together and really go full circle with this zero-waste idea, both from the waste removal side of the production side and the whole side as well. design,” added Xu. “There are few styles that are as ubiquitous and timeless as the hoodie.… This collaboration is a great way to showcase the popularity of zero-waste and can be a very scalable product.”

To create the hoodie, which launches Tuesday on Katla’s website, the pair started with Katla’s existing 100% organic fleece, which is GOTS certified.

Katla x Shelly Xu Design zero hoodie

“For a design that doesn’t waste, especially at SXD, we start every design with fabric as the inspiration,” says Xu. “I looked at it and thought, this is so comforting, this is something people would want to live for [and] I wanted to design something that was oversized and felt really comfortable.”

From there, Xu looked at a model with no constriction near the door openings for added comfort, and the overall size would give such a lively feel. Then she started creating shapes – not quite the patterned “pieces”.

Shelly Xu Design's zero waste pattern doodle for Katla hoodie hoodie

Shelly Xu’s zero-waste doodle before completion.
Elegant Shelly Xu Design

“It really plays with geometry to see how we can maximize the creativity of what we can do within the set dimensions of the fabric. Usually when I receive a piece of fabric, the first thing I do is feel it and think about it, but the second thing I do is consider the width because that would be the overarching creative constraint for a design that doesn’t. waste. So I wanted to make sure that each piece could fit perfectly within that width while using the material as efficiently as possible,” Xu said.

In a way, it’s a bit of the opposite of fashion’s typical MO

“I think the biggest difference is for the traditional models. First, you start with a creative vision or an unrestricted sketch, like this is the overall look of a hoodie. Or maybe if you don’t want to get too creative with your hoodie, you see how the hoodies have been perfected so far and then you make some changes to the model. And that means there’s a lot of curve in the way you cut,” she explains. “The pieces obviously don’t fit together because the way you think about the cut comes after you have envisioned a design. So inevitably there are rags that come out of it.”

While anything that can save 25% in material usage seems like the right path for every design, there are challenges with that, so that’s why Katla hasn’t been able to convert yet. all of its hoodies into zero-waste versions of themselves – though the aim is a gradual movement in that direction.

“That skill set doesn’t currently exist among most of the people we work with, so the teams that created our templates, they’ve never done zero-waste design,” said Magnusdottir. ‘ said Magnusdottir. “This is a special skill set [that] hopefully more people will start adopting but that’s another thing that will take some time in the industry. “

First, factories will have to be willing to test overhaul a process they’ve been working on for decades.

“When I spoke to mills a few years ago, they were quite hesitant about making things without waste because, for example, they were used to cutting the edges of the fabric from the start. Or because regular patterns have irregular shapes, they actually program the cut to have gaps between different shapes… so there will be automatic, programmed during production, fabric waste from the very beginning,” Xu said. “To be really sure that’s not the case, it’s really been a change not only in design but also in manufacturing.”

That also means sorting is out – each size for this zero-waste hoodie needs to be tailored.

But for those who are beginning to worry that this is not scalable, Xu replied in the works: “My start-up, we are actually working on a software program that converts design illustrations into zero-waste technology packages. It’s going to take a couple of years to build but I’m actually building a team for that so then we can scale the design with no waste.”

Meanwhile, the new Katla x SXD hoodie will be available in black and white, in two sizes for all genders, and retail for $220 (matching the price tag of traditional Katla products). . And there’s no risk of selling out.

“The beauty of zero-waste production is that we don’t actually sell out, we produce as needed in small batches and made to order.… We plan to do this in one go. certain time and we will add and keep up to this. “We are not pre-building a large amount of inventory, we are responding to consumer demand in terms of volume,” Magnusdottir said. “And that’s also part of the reason to just use a simple palette, here are fabrics that we bring in and then we can see how it works. And who knows, if it works well, we might roll out more products together in the future. ”

SXD zero-waste model drawing, featured on the back of the Katla . hoodie

SXD’s zero-waste model drawing, featured on the back of the hoodie.
Katla x SXD polite

In another move where collaboration and fashion sharing can benefit even more, the Katla x SXD hoodie design will be open source. In fact, a drawing of the pattern will be shown on a sticker underneath the hood.

“We wanted to replicate the open source philosophy of Silicon Valley,” said Aslaug. “Obviously, we both want to build successful brands but there’s a bigger mission behind… what we’re doing. We want to help transform the industry, so [the] The more people adopt these types of practices, zero-waste manufacturing and zero-waste design, the more we can boost the industry. ”

https://wwd.com/sustainability/innovation/katla-zero-waste-hoodie-shelly-xu-design-fashion-waste-aslaug-magnusdottir-1235001572/ Katla and Shelly Xu Design Debut Fashionable zero-waste jacket – WWD


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