What inspired Skunkfunk to create a zero-waste collection?
We believe that fashion can and must be sustainable. We are constantly looking for innovative production methods that can reduce waste and carbon-dioxide emissions without sacrificing creativity.
That’s why we challenged our design team. While traveling to factories, we realized that there were a lot of fabric leftovers because we were not thinking properly about the patterns while designing our clothes.
We suggested for them to create garments taking into consideration all of the fabric width. Normally there is 15 to 20 percent of the fabric not used that is completely thrown to the rubbish, and what we have reached is 100 percent use of the total width of the fabric roll.
It’s an innovative way of working. It changes completely the way we think about creating garments.
How long did it take to develop the collection?
We have introduced this innovating way of designing for our Spring/Summer 2016 collection, which took us almost one year to develop.
What has been difficult was to find the right factory partner who understood our project.
“Zero waste is based on respect, both for manufacturers and designers, and the environment.”
In the end, they’re the ones who need to find the right way to produce the collection as we are not only creating a prototype.
Producing the usual way always creates waste as the machine which cuts the pieces also produce a little wastage. [Our partner] really helped us and it has been a collaborative work on each prototype in order to optimize them.
Were there other challenges?
First, we designed from scratch our collection in the heart of Basque Country. These designs required starting from a square or rectangular shape, which is the given shape of the fabric roll, so it was more of an “architectural” approach to the design, thinking in ways of fitting all the garment pieces inside this geometrical base.
Then we needed to explain thoroughly to our manufacturers the concept, travel to India, and even cut the fabric together with them, to ensure they realize what the zero-waste concept means.
All of the patterns were cut by hand because we couldn’t use the machines in order to avoid generating waste. It was a long process and we are totally satisfied with the result.
Zero waste is based on respect, both for manufacturers and designers, and the environment.
Tell us more about the colors and styles you used.
Our capsule collection is composed of two styles: our top and skirt “Calathea,” and our dress “Arabis.” Both styles are available in charcoal grey and a multicolor all-over print we specially developed for this collection. All the Skunkfunk prints are totally recognizable.
Our idea is to develop two or three styles every six months and to keep repeating the bestselling ones in order for them to become iconic.
In this way, the zero-waste collection will grow more and more season after season.
What else inspired the collection?
Skunkfunk is a project born in nature. It’s an unconventional fashion brand with an environmentally conscious drive.
In a fashion industry that often forgets environmental issues and creates non-durable products for massive consumption, Skunkfunk is committed to making durable fashion that brings a sustainable conscience to comfortable and creative urban wear.
“Our approach to sustainability is holistic, so all of Skunkfunk shares this philosophy.
Our approach to sustainability is holistic, so all of the Skunkfunk team shares this philosophy. This is the inspiration behind our zero-waste capsule collection, our commitment to sustainability.
This results in an ongoing effort that doesn’t occur overnight. It’s a continuous action driven by holistic learning processes that encourage a new way of thinking using innovative materials.
The zero-waste aspect aside, how sustainable are the fabrics you used?
We had to find the perfect fabric to design one-size garments which cover several sizes. To do this, we took one of our nicest organic-cotton fabrics, an elastic jersey fabric which is really stretchy; we thought that it was perfect for a zero-waste garment.
Both “Calathea” and “Arabis” are Global Organic Textile Standard–certified organic cotton pieces and they were made by Anjali [Schiavina] and her team [at CAOS Apparel] in Pondicherry, India.
Our partner is one of the most engaged and innovative suppliers in India for women’s rights. They are fair-trade-, GOTS-, and Organic Content Standard–certified.
Does the collection boast any other eco-conscious elements?
As I mentioned before, our approach to sustainability is holistic and realistic. It’s not only how we design, the naturally preferred fabrics that we use, or how we produce. It’s important to understand the reasons behind our commitment.
We have an ethical code of conduct and work on long-term trust relationships and close communication with all our suppliers.
All our organic products are third-party certified. We wrap 100 percent of our goods in bioplastic bags and over 50 percent of our cardboard boxes are reused from previous shipments. We use recycled paper or paper which respects our forests.
To reduce carbon emissions, we transport by boat over 90 percent of our goods. Also reducing our energy consumption is an ongoing concern.
“Designing zero waste is a new way of thinking that we have already embraced.”
What’s your favorite part about the capsule collection?
The “Calathea” style is a development of two pieces: a cropped top and cape skirt, inside the same pattern, which was really challenging.
That is why we decided to sell both pieces together in shops, in order for people to understand that they are both coming from the same piece of fabric.
Who do you see wearing these clothes?
I see strong active women, students, artists, and mothers looking for clothes with personality, keeping a balance between the ethical and the aesthetic.
It’s for women who value knowing where their clothes come from, how they are produced and with a strong commitment to the environment.
Will we be seeing more zero-waste designs from Skunkfunk in the future?
This project is highly motivating for us. Designing zero waste is a new way of thinking that we have already embraced. Think zero waste with us!