Based in Paris, Waste Yarn Project takes boxes of yarn that can’t be used by factories for other high end labels, repurposing them into one-of-a-kind knits that require no cutting, and therefore no waste. They make a handful of different oversized, unisex sweaters and caps using a Wheel of Fortune-like lottery process to decide which yarns go where, instilling an element of chance in each piece. Absent is the high level of control inherent in top down design, lending a devil may care randomness that can’t be replicated. Fate is baked into Waste Yarn Project’s looms, an ingredient that falls perfectly in step with a brand that creates considered and labor intensive clothes from the discards of their peers.
Siri Johansen, the company’s founder, spent over a decade designing knitwear, holding positions at Kenzo, Burberry and Pringle of Scotland before venturing out on their own. Inspired by how quickly excess material can build up at the factories they worked with, Johansen developed new manufacturing techniques in an effort to help alleviate that issue. Waste yarn refers to the scraps left over from the production of knitted garments. They’re used in the stitching process, but are defined by their differing appearance and ultimate exclusion from the final product. By working exclusively with this material, Waste Yarn Project creates beautiful clothing with a sound intention.