You don’t need to visit your local Municipal refuse sorting plant to know how much we throw away. Sadly, textiles are a big offender and as well as what we dispose of, the textile industry is still one of the world’s most polluting industries.
From excessive pesticide use, to fast fashion made cheap and shipped round the planet, garments worn a few times and then discarded, the textile industry story is not always a good one.
However, many used garments do actually get recycled, and this waste stream can be a good source of raw material. Recycling processes can degrade yarns in terms of strength and utility, but for many applications this is not a problem. For example, we in the blind industry reinforce our textiles with a stiffening coating, so switching from virgin to recycled yarns can be less problematic than with other end uses.
New House may only be a small company, but we have always been proactive in attempting to minimise our impact on the environment. Our first step has always been to try and avoid the common pitfall of offering a clean product but manufacturing it with an unclean process. For almost 40 years New House has had a forward-looking collaboration with textile manufacturers in Sweden, where thinking about sustainability is ingrained. This currently means that many of the steps in our fabric production are now CO² neutral.
Secondly, we understand the need to create desirable new products using recycled or reclaimed raw materials, thus helping to build a vibrant market. Our contribution here is Neo and ReEco fabrics, which feature strongly in our current collection.
Neo is made from recycled polyester and PET (the polymer recovered from old water or Coke bottles) and woven into a linen-feel fabric. Neo makes an excellent screen fabric with an openness factor of 16%, is available in a palette of 4 bestselling colours and has an Ökotex certificate too.
ReEco is a gorgeous soft-feel subtle plain, with a small slub to add interest. We have it woven at an innovative Japanese plant that specialises in unique fabrics. ReEco is woven with 95% recycled polyester and comes in five smart pastel colours.
In performance terms, no one would ever know that these great fabrics are made from reclaimed sources. Perhaps when it comes to roller fabrics, it is good that the raw material has lived once, but even better when it lives twice!