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Space Between develops solution to minimize textile waste problem

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-08-10 14:00:00 – Wellington

Space Between, a new green business model for fashion design from Wellington which acts as a platform for social innovation and enterprise developed by Massey University's School of Design, New Zealand that offers a thoughtful new way to design, make and use locally produced fashion have developed a solution to significantly reduce clothing and textile waste.

It is also seeking funding to work with local designer, Larissa Banks. The funding raised will go towards resourcing Banks, a Massey University design graduate, to collaborate with Space Between on developing their next range and looking at innovative ways to help businesses minimize their textile waste streams as commercial clothing waste is a huge contributor to this problem.

A social enterprise, Space Between’s upcycled clothing line is manufactured using pre and post-consumer waste by a local not-for-profit Earthlink Apparel, based in Lower Hutt, who support people with barriers to employment, such as mental illness.

The current Space Between range, Fundamentals, has been designed and produced from discarded NZ Post uniforms that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Their conjoined long dress is made from three merino long sleeve tops. Buying one of these dresses rather than the equivalent dress using new materials saves 210kg of carbon dioxide-equivalents from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Keeping things local was an important factor for Space Between Co-Founders Jennifer Whitty and Holly McQuillan. The design and making of garments is all done within a 25km radius. The range is sold online through their website, https://spacebetween.ac.nz/.

Using their unique green business model, Space Between wants to persuade the fashion industry to change and ultimately provide better options for the consumer and the environment. The solution they have developed has the potential to change the way clothing is manufactured, bought, and worn, diverting waste from landfill and reducing carbon emissions. They are the leader in this field in New Zealand, said Jennifer Whitty, Space

Between Director. They are creating a closed loop solution to clothing waste streams for businesses.

After gaining a research scholarship to work with Space Between in 2015, Banks has been volunteering with the enterprising business ever since. Part of the appeal for her is working with a collective that supports and encourages the next wave of designers to take action and respond to the social and environmental issues that affect them all.

Space Between works collaboratively with the private and not-for profit partners to develop a new kind of sustainable fashion system, one that can create value for people, planet and profit. They aim to encourage a shift in industry practices whilst setting up new opportunities for designers, producers and new participants.

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