Recycled waste garments from Kenya make it to Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week.

Photo credit: Courtesy

With key stakeholders in the fashion industry striving to make the industry a sustainable and environment friendly sector, Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato made sure to bring this agenda at one of the biggest events in the fashion calendar—the Paris Fashion Week (PFW).

Nakazato dressed his models with outfits made from waste garments he collected during his visit to Kenya.

He collected around 150kg of waste garment material destined for the “clothes mountain” of discarded textiles that he encountered in the country.

In partnership with technology company Epson, he applied Epson’s dry fibre process to produce over 50 metres of new re-fiberised non-woven fabric, some of which was used for printing with pigment inks with Epson’s Monna Lisa digital printing technology.

The new fabric production process was revealed in Paris as part of a three-year collaboration between Epson and Yuima Nakazato, and was used in the creation of items for the first time during the latter’s runway show at the Palais de Tokyo.

Mukesh Bector, Epson Regional Head East and West Africa, says the fabric taken to create the latest Yuima Nakazato fashion line was derived from material of used garments sourced from Africa, the destination for many discarded garments from elsewhere in the world.

In addition to utilising Epson’s digital textile printing to reproduce his unique and creative worldview, Yuima Nakazato created some of his outfits with the help of a new, more sustainable and potentially industry-transforming textile production process.

“The collaboration between Epson and Yuima Nakazato builds on the success of the company’s printing support for his couture and evolves the level of his creations to enable the low-impact production of high-quality custom garments,” Mr Mukesh said.

Epson’s dry fibre technology, which is already used commercially to recycle office paper and which requires virtually no water, has been adapted to produce printable non-woven fabric from used garments.

Both Epson and Yuima Nakazato are keen to raise awareness of the water and material waste associated with excess production. The Paris Show illustrates how switching to digital textile printing using more environmentally friendly pigment inks offers the fashion industry a more sustainable and less wasteful means of textile printing.

“Although in its early stages, Epson believes its dry fibre technology combined with pigment ink digital printing could offer the fashion industry a much more sustainable future, significantly reducing water use while allowing designers the freedom to fully express their creativity,” said Hitoshi Igarashi from Epson’s Printing Solutions Division.

“Epson’s Environmental Vision is committed to contributing to a circular economy, and this development could be one step towards achieving this. Dry fibre technology applied to the fashion industry offers the possibility of producing material for new clothes that have been recycled from used garments,” he said.

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