ECO-PRACTICES / SURPLUS FABRICS
We talk about sustainability in our studio a lot. Many of the decisions about how and why we make our goods comes down to the desire to do better in being mindful of the environment, land resources, and human capital when making textile goods. This is very topical right now in the fashion industry, especially with climate change and the New Green Deal in the news. There are leaders such as Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, and Stella McCartney who have created their businesses from a sustainability-first perspective, but few others. Part of this has to do with the gargantuan task of rethinking every part of a complex business model that has been making textiles the same way for years. The Titanic is very hard to turn.
Within this light, it becomes even more important for smaller businesses like Modernplum, who are more nimble and agile, to incorporate eco-practices into every part of the business. Our made-to-order model ensures that there is little fabric waste when we do cut and sew, it is on a per order basis, so everything that we buy and use resources in making gets used. There is no dead stock in our studio. Sewing locally keeps our carbon footprint small. There is minimal transportation costs and resources used our process. There is an efficiency and simplification to this model that keeps the the focus on quality in every sense of the word.
This season, we have expanded our conservation efforts by making a one of a kind collection entirely from surplus fabrics in the studio. Whenever we make a bedding item, the even the very small scraps are saved and put away for a later time. All the items in the Deep Sea collection used these smaller pieces, first hand-dyed together to give the pieces continuity visually, and then sewn in patches using Mondrian as a jumping off place. Since each patch is a remnant which a prior history, these pieces don't feel or look new. They have an inherent story with a distinct character. The process of hand-dying each in the same pot of pigment helps to homogenize them visually. These are pieces that have the look and feel of being like truly one of a kind. At least that is the way we have considered them. To make work like this may take longer than is usual, but this is also what makes them special, not only artistically but as a sustainable product that adds beauty to daily life with minimal impact. We think its time that products are made like this, and MP is happy to help lead the way.