More and more these days, clothing materials are being refashioned into furniture as designers explore the opportunities of textile up-cycling.
One of the most recent initiatives comes from Swedish denim company Nudie Jeans, which has up-cycled its denim wares into a limited run of foldable camper seats and rugs.
The project is part of Nudie Jeans’ Denim Maniacs program, which seeks to find uses for old, worn-out denim with an objective to recycle every part of the item.
The company has already shown a commitment to environmental initiatives, offering free repairs at its centres to ensure otherwise wearable jeans will not be thrown out, as well as DIY repair kits and services that promote the longevity of its products.
Consumers are also invited to hand in their old Nudie Jeans, with the material then used to make new jeans or upholstery for armchairs and sofas. Now the company has explored furniture and interiors with the creation of the In-And-Out Camper Seat and The Rag Rug.
Nudie Jeans up-cycled 2,700 pairs of jeans to create 250 unique camper seats and 350 rugs in two sizes.
The camper seat is inspired by one of Sweden’s favourite pastimes – camping.
Each seat is uniquely designed and features either a dark blue or light blue palette.
“This foldable camper seat is braided by hand, using the in and outseam of nine pairs of rigid Nudie Jeans, one belt and one leather patch,” the company says on its website.
The company uses a non-toxic steel frame for the stool. The remaining leg fabric from the nine jeans used for each camper stool is shredded and then tightly woven to create the company’s rugs.
Nudie Jeans has created 275 Lill Mats measuring 140 by 70 centimetres, and 75 Stor-Mats meausring 240 by 170 centimetres.
The company managed to recycle 90 per cent of every pair of jeans used. While the back pockets, rivets, buttons and waistband could not be used for the chairs and rugs, they will be kept for future up-cycling opportunities.
London designers Matteo Fogale and Laetitia de Allegri are also showcasing denim’s versatility by creating a series of furniture and tableware made from recycled and reclaimed materials.
The collection, entitled ISH, debuted at the Herrick Gallery and is a collaboration with Slate-ish and Iris Industries. Slate-ish creates products from recycled paper-laminate, while Iris specialises in sustainable composites using bio- based components including denim and cotton waste.
‘We are interested to work with materials that help preserve our environment with elegance and cleverness,” the designers said. “Our challenge is to design furniture and accessories around those materials trying to push the boundaries of each of them. We also love the poetic aspect that is behind this materials and their traditional source of inspiration.”
To create the items, Fogale and de Allegri used Slate-ish, Denimite – a product made from post-consumer and post industrial denim scrap – and Marblus, which is made from white cotton/polyester post industrial scrap.
For clothes that can’t be donated or repaired, a second life as furniture and interiors can deliver the fashion furniture connection while avoiding the detrimental affects of landfill.