‘I’ve always had a love for this detail never seen in the final garment - the random threads put together that makes the waste yarn - how it almost always, so perfectly, clashes in colour with the main knit. It has an element of the unfamiliar, something strange and intriguing, which is something that’s hard to consciously design.’
With Waste Yarn Project we wanted to takes this love and use it to respond to the contemporary challenges of waste in the global garment industry; presented in a playful manner.
‘We take surplus yarn from the fashion industry and put it into our uniquely designed knit system. What comes out are individually made pieces that embrace randomness with infinite possibilities.’
With over a decade of knitwear design experience leading the world’s premier fashion houses, Siri Johansen commonly observes factories with scores of boxes full of left over yarns from previous production. Each box holding different colours and material composition. These ‘remnants’ are either too limited for a new production run, the colours are not befit for the new season or the process for re-use is human labour intensive, and therefore, deemed economical.
So, they sit and accumulate, waiting eventual land-fill or incineration.
What if, with limited interference, this material were reimagined?
Woken up again by a playful and pragmatic system into a new world with a new story. No longer forgotten, no longer waste.
Siri partnered with Sebastian Maes, an adventurous knitwear producer she had worked with for many years, and together they got to work!
The shape of each Waste Yarn Project garment is thoughtfully designed but each garment has a different combination of yarn and colours, always determined by the supply of surplus yarns. Each finished garment is therefore a unique design and numbered to reflect that.
‘...designing as a visual organisation that to my mind the conscious designer does not himself design at all, but rather gives the object the chance to design itself.’