How Finland’s Pure Waste Textiles is making clothing 100% sustainable?

Eco-­consumption is a growing trend in Finland, thanks to Pure Waste Textiles – a Finnish startup revolutionizing the way clothes are made.

About five years ago the founders of Costo, a Finnish company that produces accessories from unused materials in the textile industry, decided to explore the opportunity to go further and produce entire fabrics to be able to create collections from bigger amounts of materials so that they would last longer than half a year.

The whole team had years of experience in the textile market in Finland and abroad and a lot of connections that helped them bring the idea forward.

Focus On 100% Sustainable Fabrics

The company was founded in 2013, and soon after Pure Waste established a production facility in India and began producing fabrics using leftover materials from local textile and clothing industry. Now the company has been running its own store successfully for over a year.

The first step ­on sourcing the raw materials has been a challenge for Pure Waste, yet they have stood strong on their environmental focus and pursued to create impact. In the beginning, the team was planning to only produce branded 100% recycled fabrics, but they soon realised that without having a consumer product to reach out to a bigger market, they wouldn’t get enough visibility for their brand.

That’s why they chose first to have a T-shirt that later grew into a basic collection of three types of clothing (adding sweaters and hoodies) and three basic colors – white, grey and black.

Still A Startup

After 2 years of successful operations, Pure Waste is still working under startup mentality. “We are still a small company that has to be alert and know how to make fast decisions, complete U-turns if needed, to drive our business forward,” says Hannes Bengs, one of the founders.

Through its early operations the company have realised that their biggest opportunity lies in the B2B markets and especially merchandise and production for big events.

This year Pure Waste Textiles is producing over a thousand T-­shirts and sweaters for Slush 2015 conference.

As fabrics still remain their biggest business, Pure Waste do not aim to extend their basic collection by designing new types of clothing or patterns. They collaborate with designers on creating capsule collections and produce fashion shows to promote their sustainable fabrics and create buzz in the industry.

Save Water Challenge

One brilliant thing about Pure Waste is the impact they and their customers have on environment. One kilogram of cotton may take from 11000 to 20000 liters of water to be grown.

Getting the leftover fabrics, Pure Waste does not use water in their production; neither do they use it for dyeing – white Pure Waste fabric is woven from white waste and so on. “If we just say ‘This is recycled, we save water’ – that message is not strong enough. But if we tell people how much they would save, it makes another story”, tells Bengs and clarifies that one T­-shirt from their store saves 2700 litres of water.

As a comparison, an average person in Nordic Europe needs 300 litres per day.

Pure Waste has been challenging Finnish companies and organisations to save water and is keeping the count on their website. There are still a lot of opportunities for the company to explore.

Pure Waste plans to grow, make the fabric available for manufacturers and collaborate with design brands to create sustainable clothing.

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