Over the years, we have tried to create various ways to put our scrap fabric to good use and to inspire our fellow makers to do the same. We studied the zero waste design techniques of Dr. Timo Rissanen to understand how the patternmaking process could be streamlined. What is left after our garments are cut is often worked into other garments (or become the key component of them), have been used for decoration, made into wreaths, employed practically in mending, and factored importantly in our jewelry casting process. Perhaps our most ambitious use of scraps was baling them to create seating for areas in The Factory.
As sustainability has always played an essential role in our company’s mission, we have always promoted a “waste not, want not” approach to design and to daily Factory life. Our newest effort to maintain a zero waste facility has resulted in a product we find to be beautiful—and a perfect match for Alabama Chanin and The School of Making: recycled paper note cards. Each bundle of pressed-paper stationery contains six note cards, each folded and embossed with the Alabama Chanin logo. A package of note cards also contains high-quality envelopes from French Paper Co. You can purchase your own bundle of note cards here.
We also re-introduce our scrap bags in The School of Making store. Available in one-pound increments, the bags contain a random assortment of scraps in different colors, sizes, and fabric types, and each bag’s contents will vary. You can find your own ways to repurpose these, incorporating them into your own designs, making potholders, embellishing wrapped packages, or sprucing up canned jams brought as hostess gifts. We encourage you to be creative in your usage and let us know if you have come up with a particularly unique way to use your scraps.
If any paper makers are interested in acquiring bulk fabric scraps to experiment with their own paper, please contact Rebecca by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing and details. We want to see a scrap movement in the next year. Here’s to more upcycling in the coming days!