I first learnt the term fashion “cabbage” from that tell-all guilty pleasure read ‘Fashion Babylon’ by Imogen Edward-Jones. She described “cabbage” as rejected goods from a manufacturer. They’re also more commonly known as seconds. Anything made in excess or with any vague defects might be classified as seconds. What happens to those seconds is a bit of a mystery. Sometimes they’re given to the workers in a factory. Sometimes they end up being sold in counterfeit markets. More often than not, they’re disposed of entirely, burnt on the pyre of waste that the fashion industry is responsible for.
Upcycled knitwear designer Katie Jones didn’t have go too far to find unwanted “cabbage” of the knitted variety. From a small family-run knitwear factory in Leicester, she managed to stumble upon bags and bags of seconds and overruns of jumpers and thus found herself with a more reliable source of unwanted waste. She pays the factory the same as the cost of getting a waste disposal guy to take it away and it’s all perfectly useable stuff save for a hole or two.
By taking this factory’s seconds, Katie has access to a sizeable amount of readily knitted up pieces in various shapes and sizes that can be dyed and used as is, or unravelled for their yarn. It’s less time consuming than dyeing excess yarn bales and knitting from scratch and also happens to be a more scaleable alternative to running around charity shops trying to find second hand Aran jumpers, enabling her to take on more stockists.
Imagining what Marie Antoinette would wear if she only wore knitted things, Katie delved into a candy coloured palette for her A/W 15-6 collection aptly named ‘Let Them Eat Cake and set about creating frilled seeking knits with crocheted in detailing. As it’s an autumn winter collection , Katie could load up on the layers with the pieces of off cut knits coming together to form skirts and oversized jumpers and spare sleeves being cleverly turned into cropped tops. Katie also took in off cuts of leather from Brick Lane to stitch together to make panelled jackets and skirts, turning their diminutive quantity into a plus point with zig zag stitches piecing together the puzzle. That puzzle is what drives Katie’s work forward as she allows the “leftovers” from a factory to inform what her next collection will be. It’s a self-imposed challenge that makes the results are even more impressive.
SOURCE: Style Bubble – Read entire story here.