Creating Sustainable and
As a company specializing in circular knitted manufacturing and supplying many leading retailers and brands, Triwool is fully entrenched in Fast Fashion: inexpensively and rapidly produced clothes responding to the latest trends. However, Fast Fashion is extremely wasteful; it is estimated that more than half of the garments produced by the fast fashion industry are discarded within a year. Thus, Triwool challenged the student team from Porto Polytechnic and the Kyoto Institute of Technology to develop a fully circular and sustainable knit garment product that maintained competitive production costs.
The student team began answering this challenge by researching why there is so much waste in the textile and fashion industry. The issue, they found, was also grounded in the original challenge: manufacturers focus solely on the end user. There is no consideration of how the product can be sustainable and re-used.
Though the team experimented with many prototypes, the central concept remained the same as in the final product; they knew they wanted to mix, blend, and/or twist PLA (a renewable bioplastic) and recycled cotton to create a sustainable knit garment product. However, to make this solution reality, they needed machinery that they had no access to. They began searching for local partners who had the technology they needed for the product they dreamed of. By finding local partner options, they hoped to not only create a sustainable knit garment, but to also bring into play one of the project’s focuses: a Circular Economy which could cut down on carbon emissions.
Having partnered with Tearfil for the use of their machinery, the team was finally able to create infini, a knit garment that replaces the original fabric resources with a blend of recycled cotton and PLA. Unlike previous attempts to make a knit garment with PLA, infini has been praised by users for its comfortable feel, with some users even noting that it is almost indistinguishable from standard cotton fabric. With infini, Triwool is now equipped to deliver Fast Fashion in an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient manner.
Porto Design Factory
Savana Pires Ines Oliveira
Kyoto Institute of Technology
Kaho Bando Marina Okawa