Goal: Zero Waste
When we began this grand adventure to build MiliMili, I started doing a ton of research on the fashion industry. I learned all about how much waste is produced in the cut and sew process, and in our (the consumer's) willingness to shed old clothes for the latest style, sending infinite amounts of clothes to landfills. I attended an awesome conference hosted by The Library: Study Hall to learn more about how we at MiliMili can make small but impactful changes to the way we manufacture, so that we minimize (and work towards eliminating) our contribution to the massive amounts of waste produced in the industry.
If you remember, this journey started with a sleep sack that I made for Kelsey:
When cutting out the pattern for any item of clothing, you end up with a ton of fabric scraps around the pattern pieces that normally just go in the trash. As I was amping up my home sewing, I was becoming painfully aware of the amount of remnant fabric I was producing, and was desperate to find a use for them.
So, I started playing around with what I could do to put waste to use. With the remnants of Kelsey's gift, I made a beautiful fabric basket, that I now use to store my scrap pieces. For every prototype sample that I made, I kept all of the scraps and organized them by size for future use. The pieces that are too small to be made into anything else? Pillow filing!
When we started manufacturing, we asked our cut house to do the same thing. Now, all of our scraps from our first run of MiliMili wearable blankets are in my sewing studio. I'm separating them out by size, and I'm so excited to make really special hand-made goods for you. I have created patterns to create adorable nursery goods for your tots and, since our fabric is soooo soft that you'll be jealous you can't wear one, I'm making some luxury items for parents as well! Stay tuned for one-of-a-kind hand-made remnant goods!
We still have more to do to fully create our own closed system. Our commitment to zero waste is also why we've kept our first run to a limited amount of wearable blankets. Too often, the industry creates way more supply than consumers can purchase, and more waste is created. The cycle continues. We plan to make enough product to comfort all your little ones, but not to over saturate the pool. We are also looking into a give-back program to donate or repurpose your used blankets.
Thank you for supporting small, women-owned businesses. We couldn't do any of this without you. You help us to make the changes we want to see in the industry, and inspire us to be accountable to our goals and always be improving.
Please keep in touch with ideas you have for us. We are always learning more, and will continue to make zero waste one of our core missions. We'll keep you updated with our progress.
Want to learn more yourself? Here are some of the great resources I have used: