Making Merino Base Layers
During the labor-intensive process of creating a Merino 250 base layer, large sheets of fabric are spread out on a table. A skilled worker places several layers on top of each other, capping it off with a sheet of paper stenciled with all the necessary panels for each garment.
As the fabric travels down a conveyor belt, a laser precisely cuts around the lines of each pattern, creating a back sleeve, a shoulder panel, a front piece or another important part of the garment to later be sewn together. While the entire sheet of fabric is maximized, there are small scraps around each panel cutout, extra pieces that don’t have a use in those particular base layers.
Those scraps were being placed into dozens of bags accumulating in an outside alley between two of the myriad buildings at the factory complex—patiently awaiting their fate.
All that unused, discarded Merino got the wheels turning. Where others may have seen trash, Paige saw opportunity. Even in the most efficient facilities, Paige knew there would be trimmings and scraps left over from products, but when she saw the scale of the industrial bags brimming with our precious Merino wool in person, she was inspired to act.
She immediately started collaborative discussions with our partners in Vietnam on what to do with all these Merino wool scraps, to create a more sustainable process that reduced waste and maximized materials. Paige thought, can’t we just chop it up and use it again? And that’s exactly what we decided to do.