VAER is a textile upcycling start-up fighting towards a waste-free fashion industry - but what does that really mean and how can upcycling help fight textile waste?
Circular economy in the fashion industry
The success criteria of a circular economy is a state, where we don’t create waste. Where products are designed to be recirculated forever.
However, right now, the fashion industry is far from waste-free.
As consumer pressure, legislation, and many other factors hopefully push the agenda on designing fashion that will not end up as waste, we also have to remember to find solutions for the ever-increasing mountains of discarded textiles. Imagine a tap of water running - the most important task is to turn the tap off so it won’t “leak” with textiles and they will be kept in a circular system. However, it will take time to turn off the tap completely - and until then, we need to find solutions on how to give new life to the unwanted textiles.
The art of upcycling
Some textiles will be reused, some will be recycled - but often we don’t talk about upcycling as a solution. Upcycling is placed right below reuse in the waste management hierarchy and is therefore a great recirculation option for the non-reusable textiles. We call them the “imperfect” textiles and they include used clothing with holes or stains, textile scraps, or non-used clothing with production mistakes. Contrary to mechanical or chemical recycling, upcycling allows us to use the fabric as it is, and thereby to skip resource-intensive steps such as spinning and weaving.
What we do at VAER
At VAER, we currently produce upcycled sneakers from discarded jeans and workwear. In the near future, we will be launching a new product, which will enable us to give a new chance to even bigger quantities of textile waste. While developing these products and continuously figuring out how we can make it , we are developing a model that will enable textile upcycling to become scalable. Thereby, we want to be able to lead and show the way forward for other companies to give new life to the imperfect textiles through the power of upcycling.