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Rag rugs...Pillow cases...How we're working more sustainably...

July 01, 2022 3 Comments

Rag rugs...Pillow cases...How we're working more sustainably...

At TCD we have spent the last 30 years focussing on making and designing in New Zealand, supporting our local makers and keeping the industry in our beautiful country.


In the past few years we have been really honing in on our sustainability practices and reducing our overall footprint on the earth…this has been led by the young ones, getting me to think differently. We started with cutting our gorjis hand warmers alongside our leggings to use up the fabric offcuts, and introduce a fun and very TCD accessory into our repertoire. Thinking sustainably gets us to really think creatively about how we can use smaller pieces of fabric…and so then came our cross body bags…Another piece I can’t believe we hadn’t offered sooner…


Offcut fabrics are usually sent straight to the landfill from the cutters as they are (hopefully always) too small to be made into anything substantial, but that is only the case if the pattern uses all of the space on the fabric. Sometimes we are left with big leftover pieces which are too fiddly to cut into garments, but that is what we hoped to change… 


 

 

With the production of our much loved Avant Gathered Cardi we had some large offcuts in our fantastic organic cotton sweat shirting and just HAD to make use of it. The fabric is just too gorjis to let go to waste. So our lovely Jessie spent an afternoon cutting out squares for our sample machinist to piece together and stitch up into garments. This was a garment we didn’t even sample, just ran full force ahead and knew that everything would work out, and we were delivered 6 brand new garments from the fabric that otherwise would have gone to landfill.

 

 

 


We put Jessie to work again...

on another patchwork project, this time with all of our colourful merino offcuts. We had been collecting these all the way through our winter production…from our Merino Thumbelinas, Lockdown Crops and various samples throughout the year…as you can imagine we had a huge pile of various coloured merino and no idea what to put it into…


I had this vision of putting lots of different coloured merinos together into one choppy piece, so we dreamed up a spliced Simply Tee and got to work choosing all of our different colours to go together. This was such a fun process, looking at all of the different colour combinations we could create…poor Jessie had to figure out how to cut everything out and did a fantastic job of piecing everything together…we only did 2 sizes to keep things simple but I just love how the combinations turned out. The great thing about these pieces is how there are 4 different ways to wear the top, frontwards, backwards, inside out and inside out back to front as well…


With more ways to wear your pieces, we hope they will get more love and appreciation.

When we cut styles like the bias slip and Haven Top, we cut strips of binding to go around the neck and straps, but sometimes we end up with leftovers. I had an idea a while ago to knit it up into a rug (spoiler alert: this didn’t work as well as I had hoped)...I undid my knitting and wracked my brain at how I could better use this makeshift yarn, and thought like Lissy Cole…CROCHET…


I got myself a nice big crochet hook and started working away at making a circle crochet rag rug. You know how much I love to have texture and detail around the house so I thought this was a great way to make use of my past season fabric binding. I actually ended up making two rugs in different colourways…I will admit, it took a few gos to get the tension right and stop the circle from curling up into a basket but I worked on my technique and finally got it sorted. I've currently got the black based rug in my room to go with all of my gorjis bedding I made from leftover fabrics…Honestly gorjis, you won’t know yourself going to sleep in silk bedding…I have never slept so well, and it helps me just slide out of bed in the morning.  


You may remember me whipping up a bunch of pillow cases a few months ago…I found a really quick and easy way to put them together so I spent one weekend cutting and piecing together a handful of assorted pillowcases from our leftover fabrics. What I love about this pillowcase pattern is the small strip detailing it has as a design feature…this means I can combine a few different fabrics in one design and make use of my smaller thinner scraps…


I have had so much fun thinking outside of the box to make use of all of our fabric leftovers…This is how we create such fun and different ideas, and get inspired to experiment in ways we wouldn’t ordinarily. Working within limitations has us bouncing ideas off each other, and we keep throwing ideas out there until something sticks…I wonder what we will come up with next…Do you have any ideas of how we can make use of our scrap fabrics? I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comments below…



3 Responses

Fiona Drummond
Fiona Drummond

August 03, 2022

The Upcycle Collective in New Lynn would be keen to take any fabric scraps, check out our page here, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1329218727501254

Lisa
Lisa

July 17, 2022

I make rag rugs out of cheap secondhand sheets I find on Trademe and at goodwill stores. I do this with a paper clip rather than a crochet hook but now I might have to try a crochet hook too. They look awesome!

Karen Wellington
Karen Wellington

July 02, 2022

Oh wow, I want that flag with the united tribes of Aotearoa on it – where do I get one of those?!

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