Our collaboration collection with finnish slow fashion brand MORICO has been a long time in the making. We are proud to have released a full range of ocean inspired pillows and soft accessories this summer. In this article, I want to take you a little bit behind the scenes and show you some of the making process of our collaboration collection.
It all started with 3 big boxes of fabric scraps of various sizes, shapes and colours. MORICO is based in Finland and manufactures their clothes in Estonia, which is where most of the scraps came from. Two large boxes contained mostly a burgundy organic cotton velour and a light pink patterned organic cotton with a brushed white back side. An additional box with a wild mix of cotton velour, corduroy and viscose scraps came directly from MORICO's studio. These are the scraps you can see on the top left image, the sea shell pillow on the right is one of the products that was made with some larger pieces from the studio scraps.
Tytti from MORICO explained, that most of the scraps from the manufacturer in Estonia were leftovers from the previous fall and winter collection, which contained a lot of sweaters, dresses and skirts. These are all large items of clothing, which can make cutting the fabric in an efficient way really difficult. Tytti says herself, that in the summer, when producing small items, like bikinis and swimsuits, the amount of cutting waste is much lower or almost at zero. If you are unsure, how cutting waste in fashion production happens and works, we wrote a whole article about it here.
When analyzing the scraps we received, we found a lot of long and somewhat narrow pieces. There were a lot of batches of identical scraps, coming from making multiple of the same piece of clothing. These pieces inspired us to create the starfish pillow, which consists of 10 identical but oddly shaped polygonal pieces. Our sea urchin pillows are circular, but made up from many identical small trapezoid shapes, that fit onto some more compact pieces. Really long and narrow strips cut across the grain of the fabric were rolled into tubes (a handy thing any knit fabric does, when pulled and stretched) and then woven into fabric for our snowscape pillows and velvet basket.
Already at the level of production, there are many ways to use scraps creatively and reduce the amount of waste. Tytti explained, how MORICO is already conscious about their garments, how the patterns fit onto a roll of fabric and how they can make changes to reduce waste. There are options, such as cutting pieces in a different direction to the grain of the fabric or developing additional pieces for a collection that fit into the gaps of the others. Scrunchies are always a good way to use up some small strips, but unfortunately not all the scraps can be saved that way.
Our Velvet backpack is a piece, that used up a lot of scraps in all kinds of different sizes. For the outer layers, mainly bigger pieces were used. Since the front features a pocket design, they didn't have to be as big as the full backpack. The side of the bag is composed from some really long strips, while the straps used up some narrow pieces. The lining of the bag was patchworked together from a patterned viscose. Since it has this detailed crystal pattern, the patchwork lines are not that visible. After all it is only the lining of the bag, which totally can have a few more seams than the outer, if it still looks good and is durable. This is an example for a large piece, that can be made from quite small scraps, just based on the design of the pattern and materials chosen.
After seeing the image with our starfish pattern, you might be thinking "Wait a minute, I thought Wasteless Wonders was zero waste, there is clearly some leftovers!". It's true, we can't always use 100% of the scraps in whatever shape they come. This is why we usually don't just create one product.
Above you can see our Pebbles side table, in the making and completed. Each of the little pebbles was handsewn from the smallest scraps and stuffed with scraps of scraps from other products. More tiny scraps went into the stuffing of our shell, sea urchin, snowscape or starfish pillows. It is all about the "ecosystem" of products, where one feeds the other and in the end, nothing but one piece of sewing thread - used to close the last pillow - is left.
And with that, we transformed all our 3 boxes of MORICO production waste into new and wonderful products. I hope you enjoyed a little peak behind the curtain. If you want to learn more about any of the prodcuts, please visit our Collection page. If you fell in love with any of them, you can head over to MORICO's website and purchase them directly there.