Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, is often considered a stop-over on the way to Antigua and other textile and culture rich cities. However, the industrial and notoriously polluted center of the country is now experiencing a revival in creativity, as well as a textile revolution, thanks to The New Denim Project by Iris Textiles. On a private tour of the facility, Creative Director Arianne Engelberg, explained the process in which fabrics and materials made for wholesale and private label manufacturing are now being upcycled from denim waste. Let’s check it out!
Textiles in Guatemala
The Iris Textiles factory has been in Engelberg’s family for many years and upon arriving back home in Guatemala City after some time away, she discovered it was no longer the booming company she had remembered due to the factory’s inability to compete with the new “fast fashion” rates that fabrics can be produced elsewhere. Knowing how detrimental the textile industry is on the environment and seeing so much waste, she initiated and developed the factory’s new technique.
The New Denim Project Textiles
Using an innovative and sustainable approach to the textile and apparel industry, the New Denim Project is closing the loop on waste by re-spinning pre-made discarded fibers into new yarns. The NDP now produces dye-free and chemical-free fabrics that reduce the consumption of water and virgin raw-materials. Striving to be 100% zero waste, the final cotton waste that cannot be spun anymore is given to farmers and coffee-growers to use as compost waste and an organic fertilizer. The New Denim Project has produced collections for Whole Foods + West Elm, Wool and the Gang and many others. Offering a wide range of design possibilities, they have created womenswear, menswear, packaging, as well as kitchen and tabletop products for different brands.
Going Beyond Textile
Not only focusing on the well-being of the environment, The New Denim Project is also socially responsible, compliant with all Guatemalan labor laws as well as their own set of guidelines to ensure fair and safe labor practices within their factory. As a member of the #FashionRevolution movement they are dedicated to complete transparency. Follow along on social media at: @thenewdenimproject to see all the ways they are changing the fashion industry first-hand.
If you would like to learn more about The New Denim Project or are interested in creating a more circular fashion model for your company, reach out to the THR3EFOLD team to get started.