The Soft Workwear Uniform
How can we design a functionally, emotionally, and aesthetically durable work suit?
Finding affordable, sustainable fashion can often be confusing and difficult. Silfir was founded with the mission of keeping clothes in use for longer by offering handpicked sustainable fashion with an end-to-end repair service covering the entire lifecycle of a piece. We’re always excited to join forces with brands committed to reinventing the way fashion is produced and consumed which motivated our excitement to collaborate with Silfir to design their first-ever circular workwear uniform tagged with our circularity.ID.
From vision to life
The process of creating Silfir’s statement outfit involved puzzling together different strategies for circularity in a journey stretching out/expanding over three main steps/phases of our collaboration.
To design for circularity is in many ways about designing with the end in mind, asking yourself what will happen to the materials when no longer in use. We thoroughly scanned the material market with Montebelo Studio to find fabrics and trims that we could ensure were recyclable or reusable. Our careful selection included a Lenzing™ tencel™/viscose blend for the main fabric, which uses up to 50% less water than conventional natural fibers. The raw material (wood pulp) is sourced from sustainable forestry. The sewing yarn is 100% Tencel™, the buttons are 100% corozo (stone nut) and the elastic waistband is 100% organic cotton/natural rubber. The zipper is 100% organic cotton with brass teeth which means it needs to be removed before recycling. Materials are all made in Europe, saving a significant amount of resources, and are biodegradable and recyclable.
Material cyclability (mono-material)
80% of the impact of the garment is decided at the design stage (Community Objective, 2019). To this end, we engaged in the design strategy, ensuring that the garment is suited for circularity / that the garment is recyclable or reusable in parts so that all material can be fed back into the industry. To comply with the mono-material approach of being recyclable, all trims were selected within the same cycle and additionals (buttons, sewing yarn, elastic waistband, zipper) were picked to fit the technical cycle of material recycling.
Technology plays a major role in enabling change and accelerate the transformation towards circularity. Adding our circularity.ID to every piece warrants transparency and traceability in the supply chain, making the garments’ life visible for the customer. By simply scanning the code, the customer will learn about the uniform’s story, its production, care instructions, return, reuse, and recycling options. The circularity.ID facilitates the longevity of the item, a key value of Silfir’s business model. It provides a customer- and producer-friendly interface that serves Silfir’s 24-month service guarantee for repairs and re-dyes.
Via our threefold implication in the workwear uniform’s design process, we were able to create a statement outfit that is simple, chic, and sustainable, fitted for all genders and body shapes while sporting a fully circular design. We were able to generate a product that combines:
- Functional durability through high-quality material and trims, and the circularity.ID integration for a guaranteed repair service.
- Emotional durability through its comfortable fit, gracefully evolving materials, and transparency of production and supply chain.
- Aesthetic durability through its timeless design, neutral color-scheme/palette and well-balanced cuts that suit various occasions.
The soft workwear uniform truly showcases how circular design not only makes environmental but also aesthetic sense.