Obstacles in the textile upcycling chain, a case study of the communication between small-scaled upcycling actors and their processes.

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi; Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi

Abstract: Upcycling of textiles is a well-known method to remake worn textiles and decrease the environmental impact coming from the textile industry. Many fast fashion companies have tried to implement upcycling in their own textile value chains to become more circular. Although the effort is good in theory, there is more to be done to get better efficiency when it comes to upcycling textile fashion products. The purpose of this report was to study the obstacles in the textile upcycling chain for small-scaled actors that are engaged in design driven upcycling. This report partly investigates a specific textile value chain that is based on redesigning home textiles that comes from textile consumer waste. The report investigates the collaboration between supplier, designer and manufacturer in this specific value chain. This was by outlining their current communication and process steps. The report intends to form a ground for creation of communication tools for actors working similarly. Re:textile at Science Park Borås is a project that is working towards developing new design principles, business models and production systems in the textile industry for a better circular flow system. The cooperation with Anna Lidström, Artistic Director at Re:textile, made it possible to investigate the upcycling industry and identify the obstacles in the pre-production and production process. For collecting information for this report, data research and interviews with Swedish companies have been done. The companies that attended the interviews were from different companies in the textile upcycling industry, that were provided with as much information as possible for the analysis. The companies that attended the interviews were from different companies in the textile upcycling industry. The companies were Rave Review, XV Production, Björkåfrihet and SIPTex. The information from the interviews contributed a ground for the analysis. The semi-structured interviews varied from telephone interviews and visits. The compilations from the interviews have been carefully used to answer the reports research questions. Conclusions are presented as obstacles for the textile upcycling chain at design driven small-scaled actors. One obstacle is to cater bigger quantities of textile consumer waste that keeps the same quality. Another obstacle is the way of ensuring the quality of the product through the value chain to consumers. The third obstacle is that the communication tools are not written according to any principles which contribute to mistakes in the manufacturing process.

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