News » zero waste
Published Jul 10 2020 in Customer Appreciation, customers, diane kennedy, eco, eco friendly, environmentally friendly, ethical, Ethics, Fall Fashion, green living, inspiration, Made in Canada, sustainable, zero waste
You may remember a recent blog, about a certain Well-Dressed Climate Scientist...
Well, we were curious to hear more from her, so after a few friendly e-mails, we asked her how we can "do better" for our earth. And so, she was kind enough to share some of her tips on how we can all live a greener lifestyle and share the global responsibility we have in protecting our environment. Read on!
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
- Maya Angelou
Photo provided by Dr. Kohfeld. Fall 2019. She is wearing our Perception Tunic & Heather Charcoal Cozy Coat
If we could all do 3 simple things on a consistent basis to best reduce our impact on the environment, what would they be?
Just three? 😊
Ok...Here we go!
1. Travel less, and use lower-impact forms of transport.
We've seen with the COVID-19 lockdown that daily greenhouse gas emissions around the world decreased by 17% in early April 2020!
This was in part because we weren't driving and flying. Many large cities around the world have been converting street space so that it can be used for pedestrians and cyclists, and there's a possibility that some of these changes could become permanent.
Imagine, as we move forward, that we continue to walk, bicycle and telecommute more often, rather than spending hours in our single-occupancy, gas-powered vehicles. We'd reduce our dependency on oil, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and we'd feel healthier, too.
2. Change our consumption patterns.
By now most of us have heard of "reduce, reuse, recycle," and now we can add "refuse" and "rot" (composting) to those. We have the information out there to become informed consumers, and we can refuse to buy things (plastics and single-use products) that contribute to environmental waste.
Diane, you yourself have posted about how the fashion industry, for example, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, but you've shown that it doesn't have to be. We can, to the best of our abilities and where possible, make informed choices.
3. Vote for laws and policy makers who put sustainable environmental policies in place.
We have the technology to transform our transportation and energy sectors in Canada, but truly battling climate change will require that we vote for system-wide policies and changes.
Numbers 4, 5, and 6 would be to have difficult conversations with your friends and family so that they are aware; reduce your personal energy consumption; and reduce your reliance on meats and vegetables produced through industrial farming (i.e. buy local!)
Thank you so much for this well-written advice, Dr. Kohfeld! We hope our readers are inspired and encouraged by your words 💚
If there's one thing that Diane Kennedy customers love about our garments, it's how effortless they are. Effortless to wear and care for, that is! Our signature bamboo fabrics are not only incredibly soft and comfortable, but they are also just as easy-breezy to maintain.
Washing / Drying
We recommend machine washing our bamboo garments in cold water using a mild eco-friendly soap. After washing, we suggest laying flat or hanging to dry. It's ok to put them in the dryer for a few minutes to get some of the moisture out, but please be sure to hang them up right away afterwards. Our bamboo fabric can hold quite a bit of moisture due to its unique cellular properties. It's ok to hang tops and 'shorter items', but longer items like pants might need to be laid flat to dry to ensure no stretching occurs. For longer tunics and bottoms, draping over a rack best preserves the shape of our garments.
Packing for Travel
You may already know that our garments travel exceptionally well. Our pieces fold so nicely & efficiently that it makes packing very easy; whether you're getting ready to take Diane Kennedy on a trip, or just switching over your closet's seasons. To minimize wrinkles, lay your garment flat, folding in the sleeves and hem (vertically, from top to bottom) into a rectangle, then simply roll up your garments starting from the neck. When you get to your destination, shake them out and hang them up, no ironing needed! Any wrinkles will fall out shortly.
This is a time when we're all thinking about our impact on the earth and what we can do as individuals to reduce our waste. As a designer it's something I do consider while designing my garments. The truth is that pre-consumer "almost" zero-waste fashion is really only attainable with garments that are very simplified and made from very boxy shapes. A classic example of a zero waste garment is the traditional Kimono. But when a garment is cut to fit our womanly curves, square and boxy shapes are not ideal. Our new Scrunch Scarf is a good example of "almost" zero waste as the pattern pieces are rectangular and I purposely chose widths to fit the fabric. If you look at the bottom of the image below, you can see the "efficiency" is 98.3% of the fabric.
Still as a small batch designer with a very hands on approach I'm able to mitigate my use of fabric during production. I do consider how a sleeve is cut for example and how the fabric is utilitzed in the production process. My approach is quite unique as I often modify the designs as the pattern is being made. I sketch an idea, start making the pattern and make adjustments to the design as I go. As a last step It's not unusual for me to do a mock lay out the marker (the pattern pieces of the garment laid out single layer for cutting of the fabric) to see how well the design makes use of the fabric.
Once the garment is ready to go into production a cut lay out of the pattern pieces is made (a production marker) using the Optitex CAD system. The use of the fabric is noted during this process. What I'd consider an unacceptable use of the fabric would be a marker that utilizes only 70% or less of the available space. Trust me when I tell you this would not be an uncommon use of fabric in the fashion industry. (30% waste) Commonly a style like a pant or a tunic would use 75% - 80% of the fabric. Anything above 80% is considered excellent. Kind of surprising right? This is the reality in the garment industry. The marker below is an example of how I put parts from 2 garments together to get a better yield. By doing so I was able to use 84.1% of the fabric. Without making this change the use of the fabric was way down at about 67%.
We do whatever we can at this stage of production to minimize this waste. Our markers regularity use 82% - 87% of the fabric. And truthfully that's about as good as it gets. The only way to improve that would be an example like a shirt that has many small parts like cuffs, collar and tabs to fill up the spaces.
While I know this is not something the average consumer ever considers when purchasing a garment, I wanted to share some of the thoughtful processes that go into making a Diane Kennedy garment.