The Italian fashion brand Benetton recently launched their innovative seamless sweater. The sweater is produced using only one long single piece of yarn, which is enabled by a high-tech Japanese knitting machine. The sweater, which takes one hour to make, comes in various color and is made of a more sustainable yarn (of 90% merino wool and 10% cashmere). The single thread of yarn for one sweater measures 450 meters. The garment is produced locally in Treviso, Italy, thereby its name tv31100, which refers to the postal code with the same number.
This brings to mind a concept that we can call ”single-thread knitwear”. This new concept, which is here proposed, is similar to the notion of modular design in the sense that it facilitates redesign. In short, the process of making a ”single-thread knitwear” would entail the following basic steps:
We start with the design and production of a knitted product, using only one long piece of yarn with a specific length. After a certain time of use, the knitwear is returned to the store by the consumer, whereby it is sent back to the factory for redesign. At the factory, the knitwear is carefully ripped or ”frogged”, then straightened and reshaped into its original yarn quality, and lastly reused as yarn in the knitting of a new ”single-thread knitwear” of a new design. This redesign process could be repeated again and again. With the only limitations being the yarn length and yarn color (unless the yarn is redyed), we can create almost endless designs without any (or very little) yarn spill, as long as the yarn is kept in good quality. Imagine what this concept could bring to the fashion industry in terms of creating ”redesignable” products of yarn.
Note: This article is written by Anna Brismar (PhD, CEO Green Strategy and owner of circularfashion.com), and has also been published on www.greenstrategy.se.