For too long the fashion industry (and industries at large) have utilised the extractive model of a linear economy: take, make, use, dispose. We extract natural resources without thought and make products, fast. Quality often lacks and items are quick to be disposed of. When disposed, the environment is polluted, considering the fact that little to no thought has been considered when it comes to the product’s end of life.
Enter Circular Economy: “an economic system of closed loops in which raw materials, components and products lose their value as little as possible, renewable energy sources are used and systems thinking is at the core.”
At Equator- the Belt Factory™ one of the guiding lights on our sustainability journey is that of circular economy.
This is a tough nut to crack, and we are far off from that goal. But we get very excited about the small victories along the way in which we can get closer to that new way of doing business.
That is also one of the reasons we are excited to see some brilliant work coming out of the Knoop Academy using our leather offcuts in the Textile Conversion program they are running for The Go Group, which not only empowers local crafters, but encourages a reduction in industry waste.
Knoop Academy is a FP&M SETA Accredited Non profit company aiming to build economic independence for crafters. Together with Belgotex, a carpet manufacturing company here in KZN (and fellow Green Star certified manufacturer) we are providing materials for crafters to create products that would otherwise be considered waste.
Together with the leftover yarn, and our leather offcuts, crafters are creating beautiful pieces we are excited to share. The products made my crafters working within the Knoop framework can be bought on the Shula Group online store.