As part of Minimum’s transition to become more sustainable, the Danish fashion brand has started a new circular initiative by utilizing its own stock of unsold styles to convert it into new fabrics for coming collections.
Together with the Danish textile production and innovation company Textile Pioneers, which is already a partner of Minimum, the company has initiated the collaborating set-up which shall make it possible to turn Minimum’s old stock into new styles. Up until now, it has only been possible to recycle cut-offs and textile waste from production. With the new technology, Minimum now aims to achieve full circularity in a product-to-fiber-to-product process.
The mechanical and chemicals-free process of the product-to-product recycling takes place at the circular factories of Valérius 360 and Valérius Hub Group in Portugal. At Valérius 360, the styles are collected and sorted by color, structure, and composition, then shredded and mechanically processed into a new yarn. All steps of the production process happen within a radius of 50 kilometers, using renewable energy as the only footprint, which makes it a greener solution for textile recycling. The set-up was started at the beginning of 2019 and was fully developed by the end of 2020, making Minimum the first brand to convert their own unsold stock into new styles at Valérius 360.
Shredded old stock
“After years of intense research, we have developed a fully circular factory that dedicates its business to the transformation of textile waste and turning old garments into new styles. With Minimum being the first brand on board for the transparent product-to-product recycling, we have been able to refine our production processes to make optimal use of every single component of the garments,” says Cátia Oliveira, Head of Sustainability at Valérius Hub.
Shredded old stock
The only added substance that goes into the process is organic cotton to strengthen the yarn. This is necessary as the shredding of the styles shortens the fibers. As part of the innovation, only a low amount of organic cotton is needed, compared to other machines. The minor amount of fibers that are too short to be used in the process for creating the new yarn will be used in the paper industry, achieving 100% circularity, Minimum announced.
Organic cotton is added to the newly created fibers
“We have now received the first sample of the shredded fiber, which is a unique blend of primarily tees, knits, and shirts, ready to be transformed into new and more relevant styles. As our leftover stock is limited to a certain amount and specific colors, the new styles will be limited as well. This makes the expression of our new styles unique as we never will be able to obtain the exact same color again. We see this as one out of the many positive assets of circularity,” says Kristina Nissen, design and buying manager at Minimum.
The first batches of unsold stock will result in the coming capsule collection titled “Impact 01: Re-made” consisting of four unisex sweat styles to launch on July 5, 2021. The result is part of Minimum’s experimental lab for creating sustainable change called “Minimum Impact”.
The first batches of unsold stock will result in the coming capsule collection titled “Impact 01: Re-made”
Moving forward, the recycling of Minimum’s own products will be a part of the brand’s textile supply chain for as long as they hold unsold stock. In addition to converting to sustainable qualities and embarking on circularity, Minimum also reduces the sizes of their annual collections to increase their focus on transeasonal designs.
“Investing in new sustainable developments like this is so far not good profitable business, but it is common sense and better business for the planet. We hope our action can be an inspirational case, encouraging other fashion and textile brands to support and utilize the sustainable innovation that is now ready on the market,” says Steen Engelbrecht, CEO of Minimum.