Both wearing 100% recycled cotton raw-edged sleeveless T and 100% recycled cotton/polyester 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 pre-consumer cotton waste and recycled polyester fibre. This proof-of-concept collection is a circular fashion initiative, and as a social enterprise 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), source these textiles, have your lines made by our factory partners, or just arrange to talk to us about what we’ve learned.
Our capsule collection (wide leg and tapered trousers, tunic, oversize T shirt, sleeveless T shirt, and a sleeveless jacket/koti) is designed for heat/humidity or for layering in cooler weather. Unisex and minimal for all ages, it comes in two sizes, and two colourways (light and dark).
For more information, contact ReDRESSrecycle@gmail.com
What problem are we trying to solve? Less than 1% of the world’s textile waste is recycled into new clothing.
What is the solution? Currently, polyester recycling is easier and results in more robust textiles than those made of recycled cotton. But, although it’s more challenging, mechanically recycling cotton represents the biggest 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 are harder to subsequently recycle - that's the next challenge). 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 and Monon Muntaka Shova)
Advisors and partners
This project relies on the advice, expertise and generosity of the textile, ready-made garment (RMG) and design community in Bangladesh and the UK. The following are some of the people and entities, committed to responsible practices in the textile and RMG industry, who are providing pro bono advice and a range of in-kind and material support.
Aidha Cader, concept
AJO Idea Space/Made in Bangladesh (MIB Spirit), advice on merchandising and branding
Bextex Ltd, Design Studio, research and development of textiles
Bharat Pratap Singh, design, production, logistics
Brunhilde Descamps, concept
CYCLO, advice on responsible upcycling, production of yarn (see below)
DBL Group, knit textiles and RMG
DRIK Picture Library/Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Photoshoot location
Enterprise Steps/e-Business, Newham College, UK
Momtex, advice on weaving
Monon Muntaka Shova, Photography
Ørjan F. Ellingvåg, Photography
Paper Studio, graphic design, print and identity
Raju Panna, Master pattern maker, production
Rubana Haq, concept
Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, concept
Sarah Karim Couture, concept
Social Enterprise consultants, British Council
Teresa Albor, design, overall coordination
Urmi Group, knit textiles and RMG
Carlos García Hernàndez
Esther Comino Álvarez
José Comino Pulido
Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
Laura Sophie Schnieders
Luva Nahid Choudhury
Mercedes Alvarez Bustamante
Ørjan F. Ellingvåg
Ruxmini Reckvana Q Choudhury