From textile waste into handmade paper
Slow Fashion is just one of the ways that makes KLEED a sustainable and conscious fashion brand. We are committed to reducing overconsumption and fighting overproduction. Our latest project is recycling our own textile waste, transforming it into handmade paper, that we can use for our Wash & Care labels .
In our factories, every scrap of KLEED material is now set aside, during the cutting and sewing phases, packaged in cardboard boxes and sent for recycling.
Recycling material is a lengthy and highly specialized process, and it has been honed and perfected in India over centuries.
The first step is to separate the cotton fibres from other fabrics, a manual process requiring enormous skill and patience. With KLEED, we only work with cotton, and therefore do not need to undertake this painstaking process. However, we do need to shred every scrap of material, in specific shredders.
The cotton is then soaked in water for several days, until it becomes a fine pulp, which can then be processed into paper.
In a large vat of water, two artisans press a layer of pulp in a wooden frame, backed by a tightly stretched cotton sheet, which will mould the pulp into a thick sheet of rough-edged paper. The excess water is pressed out and a sheet of paper is born.
If the original material is coloured, it will now be bleached into a uniform, cream-coloured paper. Once it is semi-dry, it can be dyed any colour, or embellished with special effects, such as marbling.
Lastly, the sheets are literally hung out on washing lines to dry – a spectacular vista of endless vertical sheets, blowing and drying in the open air.
Every step of the paper-making process is made by hand and, compared to a traditional paper mill, the handmade paper manufacturing process uses much less energy per ton of paper produced. It therefore contributes far less towards pollution and global warming.
We are proud to share that our KLEED Wash & Care labels are now made from our own, recycled handmade paper - printed with sustainable, non-polluting soya ink.
KLEED handmade paper. Yet another step on our road to sustainability.