a Conversation w/ Worldwide Manufacture ʷʷ
Worldwide Manufacture is known for representing the manufactory universe by embracing a raw industrial aesthetic through various mediums. Where does this fascination for the machine come from?
It came naturally to me, I grew into it. My first job was in a production factory. I didn't get the chance to go to fashion school because I didn't have enough money to pay for the semesters so I actually learned how to repair sewing machines before learning how to do patterns.
How did this collaboration come about?
The “Zero Waste Initiative” was born as a program to collaborate with peers in the industry. When Koku (Co-owner ANR) and I met in Portugal earlier this year, he explained how his label was working to implement a more circular product cycle and he expressed his concerns with the cost of warehousing defects, old samples and overstock. We then decided to explore the possibility of bringing the “Zero Waste Initiative” to Atelier New Regime.
Could you explain your “Zero Waste” philosophy? Where do you stand when it comes to the topic of sustainability.
“Sustainability” it's a word being thrown out too easily and even too often. I prefer the raw concept of sustainability; the one where the whole sustainability topic begins by each of us taking action.
Focusing in new innovative fabrics and practices, I believe, it is still a bit too far fetched for a small scale infrastructure.
We have too much stock that could be reworked or upcycled before even thinking about creating or producing new ”sustainable” fabrics. I don’t like the paradox of “creating sustainability”. I think the impact of manufacturing new sustainable textiles could be reduced by simply working with what you already have.
You refer to the sewing machine as the invisible hands — an extension of you.
If you look around you, you realize that machines are part of our daily lives. In fashion, it's the same thing, it's omnipresent. The machine became a part of us.
What is your approach when dealing with defects and production mistakes?
Waste, as we know it, is something that is not supposed to make its way to the racks.
When you make garments, all defects, prototypes and samples are considered waste but when you think about it, these so-called “mistakes” represent no more than 4-5% of the production; they are rare! So why not see them as limited edition!
We believe in using “deadstock” as canvas for creativity and new products.
Is it fair to say your goal with this initiative is to showcase how sustainability practices can easily be implemented?
The idea with ‘Zero Waste Initiative’ is that the machine is “The” tool; meaning that if you have one at your disposal and you are able to use it, you are able to produce almost anything you want — and reflecting the true DIY. I believe true sustainability should start by doing it yourself.
Why did you choose these fabrics — What about quality?
The ‘Zero Waste Initiative’ is about finding a solution to an existing problem. Meaning that in this particular case, we did not choose the fabrics; it was more about working with whatever was available and was causing problems due to warehousing costs.
Is there any particular reason why you chose to work exclusively with JUKI?
The whole vision of Juki is about authenticity, strong work ethic and transparency. Worldwide Manufacture shares the same vision and we want to keep spreading it.