Remake’s Atelier Made Pieces Enable a Better Future for All
“I think Remake and redesign has great potential of taking an important part of the future fashion market; to be a platform for fashion that values materials and people, creating a social and environmentally friendly way of living.”
Redesign is no doubt one of the most interesting aspects of sustainable fashion to date. It caters to the need for new, while prolonging the life of the pre-existing. Remake is a social enterprise and redesign brand by Stockholms Stadsmission – a Swedish non-profit humanitarian organisation that run multiple charity thrift stores as part of their operation.
From the huge amounts of textiles Stockholms Stadsmission collects every year, Remake is currently able to redesign about 2,5 tons of these into new garments, contributing to important change for both people and planet. We asked the brand’s operation manager, Maria Lagerman, to tell us more about the work that they do.
What is the story and purpose behind Remake?
– Remake by Stockholms Stadsmission revives, deconstructs, reconstructs and then sells recycled clothing by incorporating new shapes and designs, as a social enterprise. Working with people in job training, supporting them to reach new goals in their working life.
– Remake also wants to be part of a dialogue that discusses how we as users or consumers can relate to fashion in a more sustainable way. Fashion is fun, but at the same time we have to address that fashion consumption needs to take a new direction. The idea came from the fact that our second hand has always had a certain flow of garments and materials that would get a greater value if their lives were prolonged.
What is your role in this project and what are the aspects of it that truly engages you?
– My inspiration lies in the potential! As the operation manager, and as a part of our team, I have the great opportunity of making a difference for individuals, for the environment, and for society as a whole. There is a greater value in pre-existing materials with the potential of being reused. And there is a greater value in acknowledging that we don’t do enough. The opportunity to make a difference via sustainable fashion is my driving force.
Tell us about the people and processes that are behind designing and making the garments.
– Long-term thinking and sustainability are the highest goals for us. Sustainable thinking is coupled with the choice of materials, as well as who works on the production. Our stores and production are social enterprises that create job opportunities through job training and internships, supporting people to take the next step in their working life.
– The designs and our collections are produced by our in-house design professionals. However, at Remake we work together as a team to reach our full potential as individuals, as well as focusing on our mission to reach out to more people that could be part of the movement for sustainable fashion. We have no special requirements, but make sure we have methods that enable as many people as possible to work with us. Social responsibility and sustainability are key words for Stockholms Stadsmission.
“We believe that materials and people are worth much more than one chance, and want our work to focus on social responsibility by supporting people.”
How and where do you source the materials?
– The materials are collected in our second hand stores and relocated to our sorting facility in Sätra. Then the materials that are included in the design and concept of Remake are transported to our production facility, located in the south of Stockholm. So, it is materials collected from donors in Stockholm, produced locally in Stockholm.
What would you say are the environmental and social benefits of Remake, and what are some of the positive effects that you have seen so far?
– Working with Remake has given us the chance to contribute to a more sustainable way of living. By buying second hand, you save a lot of fabrics and clothes from being wasted. Instead, they are put to good use and benefit the environment and society. We want to influence the fashion industry, and to focus on environmental and social sustainability. We are also thinking differently about fashion, and are not using labels for gender and size. Our style is long-term, and we try and eliminate fads, trends and seasons.
– Our most important task, however, is to help people build confidence in their own abilities and regain power over their lives. We believe that materials and people are worth much more than one chance, and want our work to focus on social responsibility by supporting people.
How do you see this project – as well as remake as a concept – developing in the future?
– I think Remake and redesign has great potential of taking an important part of the future fashion market; to be a platform for fashion that values materials and people, creating a social and environmentally friendly way of living. We have the possibility of developing an easier way of producing more sustainable garments. And if we as a collective force of users make an effort to create a more sustainable wardrobe by taking care of our garments, we can make this happen.
– I think that we need to create a system that allows the fashion industry to use second hand materials in their business models on a large scale, where brands sell their own products second hand, and collect them for redesign or donation to charities.
So, if you’re still in doubt over what to give your loved ones for Christmas, we’ve just given you the obvious answer. A recycled garment is “the Gift of 2018”, after all.
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