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A design conversation & partnership

A design conversation & partnership

At Ilio Nema, we do not design and demand, rather we partner with our suppliers in a collaborative way. This begins with a conversation to understand what fabrics are already available. We refer to these as ‘remnant fabrics’ which are often left over from other designers' collections and destined for landfill. These fabrics are of perfect quality but are surplus to others' requirements. At Ilio Nema, we choose to use what is already available, reducing waste rather than creating more.  

Occasionally, we will require a custom application such as a traditional resistance dye technique or print, and in these instances, we always opt for base fabric that is locally sourced. We want our footprint to be as light as possible.

In terms of embellishments, our philosophy is "simple is best" because every component requires resources and therefore creates carbon emissions. Unless the component is necessary, we would rather forego it. This also means our customers will have an easier task to take care of their threads and, happily, fewer trips to the dry cleaner.

We have decided to create our first collection using cotton only.

30% of pieces were made on a handloom using cotton, and cut by hand, as one of a kind;

40% was made on a handloom using BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton; and  

30% was made from a patchwork of remnant cotton voile. 

Making our packaging and shipping a little lighter

Making our packaging and shipping a little lighter

We aim to create as little waste as possible.  

Firstly we make sure our packaging is fit for purpose to protect your threads and to avoid unnecessary excess. We know that 85% of landfill is composed of soft plastic and we do not want to add to this harmful damage. We have taken the opportunity to use fabric off-cuts from our collection to create cloth bags for our packaging. The hang-tags are made from recycled cardboard and a cotton thread and finally a compostable shipping bag is used to complete the packaging process.

From factory to warehouse, we have decided against the traditional shipping method (one garment per bag). Ilio Nema will ship multiple garments within one compostable plastic bag.

Naturally, our aim is to become carbon neutral. We are already taking the following steps:

1. Consolidating shipments and we purchase the carbon neutral offset with DHL every time we ship; and

2. Use of Shippit and other local carbon neutral delivery services.

Care and second-life

Care and second-life

It's been estimated that 70% of the carbon emissions created during the life of a typical cotton T-shirt are due to washing and drying the garments. That represents emissions of more than double the amount generated in its production. So if we can help our customers care for their threads then we can reduce our environmental impact quite significantly. We also know that if our garments are well cared for, their lifecycle is extended and landfill pressure is eased.

There are several ways for you to consider extending the life of your Ilio Nema garment -

1. Darning is useful and can be a meditative practice that respects the environment.

2. Pass it on to a friend or family member who you know would appreciate it.

3. Donate it to a charity.

4. Search out swapping events.

5. Sell your pre-loved garments through online platforms or designer consignment stores.