Enter the world of Wasteless Wonders - a new 100% sustainable home textiles brand. We handcraft all our products with love and care from waste materials. Prepare for a longer read, as this article will give you a complete introduction to who we are and what we do.
Let's start from the beginning. Wasteless wonders is a tiny one-person business, focused on transforming waste materials into beautiful home textiles and decor. Even though I always use "we" on this website, it's just me, Valentina, a 26-year old designer, working and living in Helsinki, Finland. I started this adventure already a few years ago, during my MA at Aalto University, first trying to find ways to recycle post-consumer plastic, then old knitted and crocheted garments. I somehow got stuck at the textiles and since then never really stopped crafting. I went from knitting to crochet, weaving, sewing, punch needle and finally quilting - all while keeping the materials I use as much as I can recycled, secondhand, waste or found in (urban) nature.
I firmly believe, that focusing on handmade is the best strategy to use waste materials in the best possible way. Any textile crafting process, be it knitting or weaving, is slow, time consuming and most importantly intimately linked to the material used. By putting in a little extra effort at the beginning, in sourcing, sorting and cleaning waste materials, the same slow and careful process allows for a thorough recycling of the most diverse waste. The eye and hand of a crafts(wo)man is much more skilled and precise than a large automated machine and can run on renewable resources - food, water and air. At Wasteless Wonders we are deliberately low-tech, for one to save resources but also to really celebrate the slowness and diligence of true handmaking, as well as to elevate the treasure hunting aspect of sourcing suitable waste materials.
Every corner of the world has a problem with waste. Even though at least here in Finland we have decent recycling systems, in the case of textiles, a lot of recycling usually means downcycling. Garments and other textiles are shredded into tiny pieces, sometimes to be spun into new yarn, but a lot of times to be used as filler material, stuffing and who knows what. The beauty of especially knit items is, that the process can be reversed and the garment can be unraveled back into the raw material (given it was produced properly) and then used as new. Even if garments are not knit, a creative approach to recycling, combined with craftmanship, can turn a few pairs of pants into a quilt, some curtains into many pillow cases and some linen sheets into beautiful wall tapestries.
We need feasible solutions now, we need more people and businesses that are passionate about using waste materials and waste materials only, to make new and beautiful things, without excess use of resources and water and with future recycling in mind. I don't care if you make yarn from old denim, if it's 50% polyester and not recyclable. I care even less, if you try to greenwash the whole thing afterwards. We need to be better and we need to implement a zero tolerance policy. If we can't get what we need from a waste source, we have to think again, think different and be creative or be crafty. And I know that there is always going to be a solution that can be made with waste materials, there is an endless mountain of it out there, we just need to dig deeper.
So this is where Wasteless wonders comes from. The name is a small play of words and can be read as waste-less wonders - meaning: wonders without waste, or as waste less wonders! - meaning: don't waste any more of the weird and wonderful waste materials out there. Ultimately we are here to do both, it's our way to make the world a tiny little bit better and a little bit more full of wonders.