Both wearing 100% recycled cotton/polyester raw-edged sleeveless T and tapered trousers with deep pockets (Role) models: Ruhul Abdin, community organiser/urbanist and Pat Kerr, founder of a mother/child residential centre in Bangladesh. (Photo: courtesy of Re/DRESS)
Re/DRESS is a responsible fashion brand using nearly 100% recycled cotton/polyester textiles. Designed and produced in Bangladesh, our collection is made from breathable textiles knit/woven from yarn spun from post-industrial cotton waste (textile waste from garment manufacturing, also called clips or scrap) and recycled polyester fibre. This proof-of-concept collection is a circular fashion initiative, and as a social enterprise (non-profit company) which uses all proceeds to promote responsible fashion, it’s a circular economic proposition as well.
Our process is not proprietary, in fact, we encourage others to copy what we’re doing. You can order (wholesale), have your products made by our factory partners, or just arrange to talk to us about what we’ve learned.
What problem are we trying to solve? Less than 1% of the world’s textile waste is recycled into new clothing.
What's our response? Currently, polyester recycling is more common and results in more robust textiles than those made of recycled cotton. However, mechanically recycling cotton represents a big opportunity for scaling and impact, and cotton is breathable. At Re/DRESS we’re demonstrating that textiles made of a blend of recycled cotton and polyester are both breathable and durable (note: blends can pose subsequent recycling challenges, we're working on that!). And, since the overall percentages of recycled fibre in textiles are still low, the goal of Re/DRESS is to use higher percentages (up to 100%!) of recycled content in products, especially cotton.
Why does it matter? One T shirt made from recycled vs. conventional cotton saves 5000+ litres of water. Each kilo of recycled polyester reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70%. Our vision is a zero-waste economy as a response to the climate catastrophe.
First three images: Poplin tunic/shirt, a hybrid between the classic crisp white/black shirt and the South Asian tunic (with deep pockets) worn with wide leg pull on trousers and as a dress. Next three images: Koti (sleeveless jacket) in rib knit and and reversible oversize T shirt/tunic with 'floating' pockets. (Photos: Ørjan Ellingvåg)