A new look at sustainability
A totebag made from your worn high school jeans, a rag rug from old t-shirts… these are examples of upcycling, but what if we caught the upcycling wave a little earlier? At Bobolink Yarns, we’ve long asserted that local wool doesn’t need to be rough, coarse and rustic. We also believe that upcycling doesn’t need to look secondhand, eclectic or improvised.
All textile manufacturing generates some fiber waste. If you’ve ever hand-knit a garment, you know that there is always a little yarn left over. You know that these scraps could be useful, but actually integrating them into a project is challenging. In the fashion industry, this overage happens at a much greater scale. Bangladesh is the second largest producer in the garment industry.* According to their national knitwear trade organization, about 12% of yarn is typically wasted in the manufacture of knit sweaters and socks.** This means that for every 100lbs of yarn, 12lbs are leftover in quantities too small for the manufacturer to use. Since many brands tons of socks and sweater, tons of yarn are discarded by these brands.
. . . local wool doesn’t need to be rough, coarse and rustic. We also believe that upcycling doesn’t need to look secondhand, eclectic or improvised.Katie Sullivan, Founder of Bobolink Yarns
Since Northern Wool operates at a smaller-scale, our nimble team is able to find wonderful applications for remaining fiber that big brands do not have the agility to handle. Northern Wool collects leftover yarn that is as finer than floss from large-scale clothing manufacturers based in the Northeast US and transforms it into handsome hand-knitting yarn and fine finished goods. During this upcycling process, the yarn maintains the same level of quality, but we change its form through plying, dyeing, machine-knitting, and other processes.
This is Upcycling.
- All manufacturing processes produce unused material that will go to landfill if no alternative is found.
- Our small, nimble company utilizes castoff material from the manufacturing processes of large textile companies.
- We focus on keeping material local to our Northeast US market by developing desirable, high-quality products
- We diverted 7000lbs of material from landfills in 2021 and have plans for more.
*“The Impact of Fast Fashion in Bangladesh”. The Borgen Project. 26 May 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
**“BKMEA stresses govt. to reconsider RMG waste depreciation rate”. Textile Today. 22 December 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2022.