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Wellington designers solve textile waste problem

Wellington designers solve textile waste problem

Published: 9 August 2016

News type: National news

Wellington based sustainable fashion brand Space Between has developed a solution to significantly reduce clothing and textile waste and is seeking funding to work with local designer, Larissa Banks.


Larissa painting

The funding raised will go towards resourcing Banks, a Massey University design graduate, to collaborate with Space Between on developing their next range and looking at innovative ways to help businesses minimise their textile waste streams as commercial clothing waste is a huge contributor to this problem.

A social enterprise, Space Between’s upcycled clothing line is manufactured using pre and post-consumer waste by a local not-for-profit Earthlink Apparel, based in Lower Hutt, who support people with barriers to employment, such as mental illness.

The current Space Between range, Fundamentals, has been designed and produced from discarded NZ Post uniforms that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Their conjoined long dress (pictured) is made from three merino long sleeve tops. Buying one of these dresses rather than the equivalent dress using new materials saves 210kg of carbon dioxide-equivalents from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Keeping things local was an important factor for Space Between Co-Founders Jennifer Whitty and Holly McQuillan. The design and making of garments is all done within a 25km radius. The range is sold online through their website, https://spacebetween.ac.nz/.

Using their unique green business model, Space Between wants to persuade the fashion industry to change and ultimately provide better options for the consumer and the environment. The solution they have developed has the potential to change the way clothing is manufactured, bought, and worn, diverting waste from landfill and reducing carbon emissions. “We are the leader in this field in New Zealand,” says Jennifer Whitty, Space Between Director. “We are creating a closed loop solution to clothing waste streams for businesses.”

After gaining a research scholarship to work with Space Between in 2015, Banks has been volunteering with the enterprising business ever since. Part of the appeal for her is working with a collective that supports and encourages the next wave of designers to take action and respond to the social and environmental issues that affect us all.

This month Space Between launched its crowdfunding campaign to get Banks on board. “We have created the solution and are now ready to focus on scaling up,” Whitty said. “There is a pressing waste issue that needs to be addressed.”

Pledges can be made here https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/4750-space-between-needs-larissa. The campaign will run until Thursday 1 September 2016.

*Ends*

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