adidas has announced new advances in how it develops key apparel ranges to reduce waste while maintaining performance and style. Both the Running and adidas by Stella McCartney teams have worked to change the way they make patterns to increase the efficiency of their new product ranges by reducing fabric waste.
The company created a short animation, in collaboration with Big Animal Productions, to highlight this conscientious new design and production process:
The adidas by Stella McCartney range — part of the adidas Better Place Program — was conceived and designed holistically, playing with a few different colours whilst incorporating a 95 percent organic fabric. The range includes Low-Waste Tees and Shorts created through precise cutting techniques to ensure 95 percent of the fabric used makes it into the final products, with the remaining 5 percent recycled or repurposed, so that no surplus material goes to waste. The line is available as of February 1, 2014.
The Running apparel line was designed to maintain high-performance objectives while reducing material use as much as possible. The team achieved this by using squares and rectangles in the main pattern and ensuring a performance fit with stretchy inserts. Through changing the pattern, the team was able to increase pattern efficiency to 96 percent — meaning 4 percent of the materials, such as inlay soles, textiles, finishings and rubber, were recycled for use in other products, adidas says. The line became available in Fall/Winter 2013. At SB London 2013, Alexis Olans shared the story of how an effort to improve the pattern efficiency of apparel and a little inter-departmental communication led to a revolutionary new shoe.
“At adidas we are constantly striving to make our products better, not just by increasing performance, but by continuing to develop how the products are made,” said Craig Vanderoef, Business Unit Director, Global Running at adidas. “Our goal, when designing these ranges, was to maximize pattern efficiency while being as resourceful and creative as possible. We have created products that are high performing and stylish that also reduce waste.”
adidas’ new design process mirrors that long used by New York clothing designer Daniel Silverstein. Since appearing on season two of NBC’s Fashion Star in 2013, Silverstein has made a name for himself in the eco-fashion world by using design-driven innovation to create a line without fabric waste. Silverstein says with each new collection, he finds new ways to drape and incorporate all of the fabric into the design, allowing him to explore different aesthetics.