Field Notes: Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle

MIT-born clothing brand Ministry of Supply, a professional performance apparel company, is changing the manufacturing paradigm. Through its 3-D knitting and printing technology that reduces inventory and production waste, garment design is coded into computer aided design, or CAD, software, and after robotically manipulating more than 4,000 needles, garments are produced in one, seamless piece. Gihan Amarasiriwardena, cofounder and chief design officer at Ministry of Supply, told WWD, “The sustainability benefits are wide-ranging. First, the method reduces 35 percent of the fabric waste created by traditional cut-and-sew garment construction. The technology also eliminates the need for inventory and clearance racks, as garments are produced on-demand. Additionally, renewable or recyclable yarns can be used in 3-D Print-Knit, which adds another layer of product sustainability.”

“Rethink Reuse.” That’s the slogan at Savers, a for-profit global retailer that offers gently used clothing, accessories and household goods. “The opportunity for individuals to extend the life of items through reuse — which is what the Savers model is based on — will always be a sustainable and scalable solution, regardless of new innovation around production and design that aims to make the retail industry more sustainable,” said Tony Shumpert, vice president of recycling and reuse at

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