When most people think about the fashion industry, textile pollution isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind. According to Fast Company contributor Carey Dunne, “Textile pollution is something of a dirty secret of the garment industry: A whopping 85% of textile waste ends up in landfills.”
Happily, many fashion designers have begun to merge traditional garment-making with a more sustainable approach. Leading the pack is Karina Kallio, a fashion designer and founder of Brooklyn-based childrenswear brand Kallio. Ms. Kallio has seen firsthand the waste that is created in the fashion industry, and decided to build her brand around a more environmentally conscious concept; all of the adorable garments in her collection are made entirely from recycled men’s shirts.
“They say the clothes make the (wo)man but what happens to those clothes when they are no longer cool or just don’t fit anymore?” the Kallio website asks. Kallio notes that with 85% of textile waste ending up in landfills, that’s enough to recreate the Rocky mountains with perfectly good clothes. “I like my mountains the way they are,” says Kallio, “made from rocks, coated in snow, with the occasional precariously perched mountain goat. I wanted to take my knowledge of the textile industry and passion for sustainable design and do my bit to make a dent in the rapidly increase mountain of madness.” And thus, Kallio was born.
Kallio can be best described as “kids clothes that are fun and functional with a green heart,” and embody a model of sustainable design and business that more fashion designers would be wise to adopt. Currently, Kallio is raising funds on Kickstarter to help open the first Kallio “workSHOP” – a consciously-minded retail and workshop studio in Williamsburg. The expansion from children’s clothing brand to sustainability-promoting workshop and brick-and-mortar store will help spread Kallio’s message, and inspire others to join in on the conversation about sustainable living.
Learn more or donate to Kallio’s Kickstarter campaign by visiting the Kallio workSHOP Kickstarter page.
Images: via Kallio.