Cutting Waste, Crafting Change: Inside MAES London's Sustainable Practices

What happens to the fabric offcuts at MAES London? Here is how we are striving to solve waste...

One of the questions we are asked most frequently when it comes to sustainability is what we do with unused fabric at MAES London. As a CMT (Cut, Make,Trim) manufacturer we receive all raw materials for the process of making garments from our clients. Our flexible MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) ensures that designers are not under pressure to overproduce and our highly-skilled team employ their expertise to utilise as much fabric as possible, but ultimately, scraps of material are an inevitable part of creating an item of clothing. Which therefore poses the question…what to do with fabric waste? 

Recycling and Reusing Fabrics Off-Cuts: Empowering Education and Nurturing Future Designers

MAES London's dedication to sustainability is epitomised by its proactive measures to recycle and repurpose fabric off-cuts. In an industry often marked by excess, we take a conscientious approach to minimise waste. This commitment also contributes to the ethos of a circular fashion economy. Recognising the value of these materials as potential sources of inspiration and creativity we have extended our reach to nearby primary schools, individual creatives and institutions such as Istituto Marangoni, University of Southampton, and University of Westminster, by donating these off cuts. This not only reduces the textile waste but also acknowledges the importance of fostering the next generation of fashion visionaries, nurturing creativity in young minds providing the opportunity to explore their artistic inclinations.This initiative exemplifies our dedication to making a tangible and positive impact, locally, showcasing how fashion can play a role in sustainable practices and community engagement. This allows to make a positive impact at the grassroots level, making a sense of environmental consciousness and creative expression in the next generation.The hands-on engagement serves as a bridge between academia and industry, shaping the future of fashion with a focus on ethical and eco-conscious principles.


Collaborations with Dastardly Studio & V&A:

MAES London's foray into sustainable fashion extends beyond its ateliers, reaching the hallowed halls of creativity and innovation. Being able to donate off-cuts and be apart of the collaboration between Dastardly Line Studio, and the V&A South Kensington has allowed for these scrap fabrics to breathe a new life. Dastardly Line studio designs products around difficult to use textile waste streams and V&A have collaborated with them to create recycled tote bags from off-cuts which they are now selling at the V&A gift shop. This collaboration project repurposed the V&A's textile conservation department's waste by transforming it into bags. You can see the process of this here and read more on the project here. Dastardly Line studio and V&A actively engages in projects that push the boundaries of sustainable design. By joining forces with these esteemed institutions, MAES London contributes to the evolution of eco-friendly materials and practices, showcasing a commitment to the broader sustainability landscape. 

Check their instagrams here: @dastardlyline @vamuseum


Fibre Lab: 

MAES London partners with the Fibre Lab, an award-winning textile recycling start-up based in East London. This collaboration allows the brand to immerse itself in the cutting-edge realm of sustainable textile solutions. Fibre Lab have a custom-built mechanical shredding machine to turn post-industrial textile waste into valuable recycled fibre. By actively participating in the Fibre Lab's initiatives, MAES London positions itself at the forefront of textile innovation, influencing positive change within the industry and pushing the boundaries of sustainable design. Their hyper-local, circular approach ensures that the waste collection, sorting and remanufacturing process stays within the UK and is environmentally sustainable. 

Check out their instagram: @fibrelab 

Avena Group:

We have also previously teamed up with Avena Group. Experts in secure textile recycling, Avena use a three tier system for waste, which prioritises reusing material for manufacturing of other garments or recycling fabrics into other products such as insulation or geotextiles. The company takes every step to ensure that textiles do not end up in landfill but go on to a secondary use. 

Check their instagram: @avenagroup

MAES London's journey in sustainable fashion goes beyond creating beautiful garments; it is a holistic commitment to weaving an eco-conscious narrative. Through recycling, collaborations with institutions, and support for emerging talent and skilled artisans, we set a precedent for an industry that values creativity and environmental responsibility. In the tapestry of MAES London's story, each thread represents a commitment to a more sustainable and collaborative future in fashion. Bringing designers’ creative vision to life through the most sustainable processes possible is, and always has been, of huge importance to us. However it is not a singular effort. Working with other businesses and organisations is key to building a better future, ensuring every garment we make is not only beautiful but crafted with integrity and respect for our planet too!