nat-2™ Preloved

nat-2™ x Studio Sarmite PreLoved fabrics

Unless they go through a complete re-spinning process, post-consumer textile fibres they are considered a low-quality functional material typically suited for upholstery, filling and insulation. We wanted to challenge this status quo and instead focus on the qualities of the material. For example, its insulation capabilities could be an amazing characteristic for garments and accessories.

Through research and experimentation, we combined techniques from traditional textile making with use of natural binders and slowly we arrived at the marble-pattern bio-textile that we call “Pre-Loved Wool”. The resulting material has a smooth, leather-like feeling and can be created in various thicknesses, color and pattern combinations. It is water repentant, can be sewed, glued, folded with exciting potential as an alternative to leather within clothing and accessories.

Pre-Loved is a bio-textile with a marbled pattern created from post-consumer and post-industrial textile fibres and natural binders. Designers Sarmite Polakova and Mara Maizele have combined traditional textile making techniques with the use of bio-plastics to create a new textile concept, which turns old garments into a resource for making new ones.

Pre-Loved challenges the traditional concept of fabric as we know it. Upon buying new garments, consumers strive for pure blends, while mixed ones are associated with inferior quality. Yet, the speed of fast consumption clothing production exceeds textile recycling capabilities. One of the current practices is to downcycle unsellable and unwearable garments into fibres. Also called shoddy, it consists of numerous fibre types – cotton, polyester, wool etc – stirred together in a single mass. Considered a functional material only, shoddy keeps our sofas soft, our walls well insulated and our winter coats warm. 

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We believe a crisis is also a great opportunity and therefore, unlearning everything we know about this material and its stigma helps to view it from a new perspective. For example, the great insulation properties of shoddy make it a perfect material for garment making. Secondly, through colour separation, controlled pattern making and even natural dying the material can achieve a beautiful and unique visual identity. Furthermore, the short fibres, otherwise unfit for yarn spinning, are combined with bioplastics, which strengthen the fibres from within and give the material a smooth leather-like finishing. Finally, and most importantly – it is time to accept that the industry has created a new man-made textile kind. One, that is not anymore about individual fibres but rather the sum of all existing fibres together. 

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Pre-Loved celebrates this new identity, which brings along new aesthetics and highlights the previous lives of each worn garment through colour and structural nuances. The designers see this project not only as a product but also as a technique and means for collaboration with other fashion brands to turn their textile waste into new Pre-Loved garments.

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Sneaker coming soon ™

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