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Zero Waste Production

Zero Waste Production
FTC Cashmere cashmere unknit

UPCYCLING FOR UNIQUENESS BY FTC®


To reduce material waste completely and taking a step further into circular economy, FTC® has worked on a yarn-processing and knitting technology to reach a zero-waste production. The outcome is an upcycled fashion line called «UpKnit – Upcycling for Uniqueness by FTC®». With the launch of this line in 2019, FTC® has taken another step in ecological innovations with an economic impact.

Even with a precise calculation of needed yarn quantities, small amounts of yarn remain on the bobbins after the knitting process of a piece. FTC® has developed a technique to seamlessly join the threads of the leftover yarns. This process enables to maintain the high quality of the 100% Cashmere and SEACELL Cashmere material. As the residual yarns have different colors and the length of the yarns also varies, this results in a multicolored yarn with various color sections. Due to the different colors of the yarns, the styles are unique.

Our UpKnit - Upcycling for Uniqueness by FTC® was also nominated for the Green Business Award 2022, for its innovative solution, environmental impact and lighthouse effect on fashion.

 
WITH INNOVATION TO ZERO WASTE PRODUCTION
 

We want to go circular economy by creating products with a zero-waste process. Our high-quality cashmere knitwear is completely fully-fashioned produced. That means that the garment is knitted on reductions and there is no waste from cut and sew. Consequently, our production has always been close to zero waste. However, even with a precise calculation of the required yarn quantities small amounts of yarn remain on the cones after production and cut-offs can’t be avoided completely. The reason behind this is mainly because to get the required garment standard the same batch of bobbins must be used. Slight colour differences exist within individual batches, that were originally dyed the same colour. These differences might not be visible to the naked eye, but it would stand out on the flat knit.



We found out that the use of a splicing operator enables to maintain the high quality of the material, while ‘scrap yarns’ can be seamlessly joined together. Splicing is a common technique to repair ripped yarn, by splicing the broken threads with air pressure. Thus, we don’t use splicing to repair but to upcycle - we actually use the splicer for something other than what it's intended for. This brought along further challenges and complexity.

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FTC Cashmere seacell cashmere upknit
FTC Cashmere cashmere upknit
FTC Cashmere cashmere upknit
 

Since the residual yarns have different colors and also the length of the threads varies, this results in a multi-colored thread with different lengths of color sequences. A nice optic is created by splicing ‘scrap yarns’ randomly, which involves manual handling and increases the production time significantly.



The random nature of the newly created upcycled yarn creates a sort of ‘degradé’ effect. This method allows us to bring a calmness and steadiness into the colorful design, and it results in a handknit look. This special look was also enhanced by different looks of the front and back panel as well as each sleeve.

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FTC Cashmere upknit cashmere

ECOLOGICAL IMPACT

With UpKnit we set an example in sustainability and go a milestone to establish new production standards.

Between 2019 and 2022, we reused almost a ton of waste yarn. And of course we have thus saved the impact of new yarns that would otherwise have been produced.