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Spotlight On: The Recycled Cashmere Sweater

by Riley Studio |

Everyone needs a cosy sweater to keep them warm, but we wanted to make one with minimal impact that you could keep for years to come. And hopefully pass down generations!

 

After extensive research into fibres, we analysed the pros and cons of widely used materials such as cashmere and wool. Cashmere is one of the rarest and most luxurious fibres in the world and is often chosen due to its warmth, breathability and comfort - but it has a high environmental impact. Did you know its impact is roughly 100 times that of wool? 

Alongside this, due to climate change and increased demand, the cashmere industry is facing many challenges. There is a great feature by Good On You discussing the social and environmental impacts of cashmere, which you can read here.

With this in mind, we worked hard to come up with a sustainable solution to a cashmere sweater! Keeping in line with our ethos to ‘create from waste’, we partnered with Re.Verso™ to create our Recycled Cashmere Sweaters. They are currently the first and only platform to re-engineer cashmere materials for the fashion industry. 

 

Images via Re.Verso™

 

What are they made from?

Essentially textile waste! Demonstrating the latest in eco-innovative technology, our Recycled Cashmere Sweaters are made from Re.Verso™ Yarn. Although there are different types, our Re.Verso™ Yarn is made from pre consumer waste, such as industrial scraps from factories and knitters. Because it is pre-consumer, it means that it is more traceable and offers a great circular solution.

The result is a re-engineered yarn, which has the same soft, insulating qualities as cashmere - just without the negative environmental and social impacts taking place in the cashmere industry.  

 

What is Re.Verso™?

Re.Verso™ is the trademark of a truly innovative supply chain that relies on the collaboration of 4 key companies, all based in Italy:

 

Green Line
Based in Recanati, they are responsible for the sourcing and sorting of pre-consumer textile waste from Italy and some selected European countries. 

Nuova Fratelli Boretti 
They are responsible for hand picking the selection of materials that can then be mechanically transformed to produce high quality fibres. Based in Tuscany, they have been working with regenerated textile materials since 1960.

Filpucci Spa
During the 3rd phase, Filpucci Spa focuses on the transformation of the fiber into high quality Re.Verso™ Yarns. Also based in Tuscany, they are a world leader in the production of high quality yarns, innovative products and technical expertise.

A.Stelloni Collection by Mapel
Focused on creating textiles and fabrics for the fashion industry, all of the production is done in Prato. 
 

Where were they made?

Whilst the yarn is re-engineered in Italy, we chose a family run factory in Scotland to knit our Sweaters. Based in Hawick, Cozyknits is run by Jill and Keith who uphold long standing traditions and hand finish all of the products. We took inspiration from Scottish knitwear archives during the development process, so we wanted to integrate heritage and craftsmanship into these classic styles, highlighting the expertise of Scottish made knitwear. 



What makes them more sustainable?

Re.VerSo™ yarn offers the same quality as virgin cashmere, but with a much smaller carbon footprint. All ReVerso™ yarn is CO2 free, untreated and went through a Life Cycle Analysis, which identified that regenerated cashmere has a lower environmental impact in all categories analysed compared to virgin cashmere. As an example each kg of Re.Verso uses 92% less water than virgin cashmere. It’s a yes from us!


The majority of Re.Verso™yarns are not re-dyed, instead the materials are sorted by colour and fibre being sent for testing. They are also GRS (Global Recycling Standard) certified, which makes sure that the recycling process is verified and traceable.



What do they pair well with?

Cut to a classic crew neck silhouette, they feature a subtle contrast tipping detail on the cuffs. Available in Cloud and Charcoal, we might be biased but we think they would pair well with most things. But we love layering the matching scarves over the top alongside our Recycled Wool Trousers