Customization, 3D Knitwear and The Future of Fashion

NIA eco friendly knitwear currently has a Kickstarter underway with all knitwear produced at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator.

In 2014, approximately 16 million tons of textiles were generated and 64.5% of that ended up in U.S. landfills. But why is this percentage so high? Many consumers are strictly shopping at fast fashion retailers these days. This means they’re shopping for clothing that was made in mass quantities by companies that are concerned with short-lived trends and cheap prices instead of producing quality garments that don’t destroy the planet.

When I shopped, I couldn’t find quality clothing and sensible staple items anymore. This drove me to design a line of women’s knitwear for those who lead unpredictable lives. My main objective was to create comfortable, but classic styles that could take you through a whole day and last you a lifetime. This inspired my vision to create garments that were outlasting the trends.

I’ve been developing my knitwear line for the past year working on Shima Seiki’s WHOLEGARMENT® knitting machines, (think 3D printing but for knitwear). Your idea is programmed into a computer and then is knit on an industrial knitting machine. The machine has four beds so a garment is constructed completely in one process without having to cut and sew. This means seamless garments! This characteristic allows for beautiful draping, and extra comfortable clothes that don’t itch where annoying seams would be. The WHOLEGARMENT® knitting machines waste very little yarn, eliminating deadstock fabric that typically ends up in a landfill.

BF+DA’s WHOLEGARMENT® knitting machines

3D knitting enables designers to create a customized style that can solve problems we find with our current clothing. Seamless styles allow for designs that typical cut and sew manufacturing can’t achieve. I think as more people learn about 3D knitting it is going to become the forefront for creating knitwear, while advancing new ideas that couldn’t have been explored before. I think with ethical and sustainable fashion being more important than ever, 3D knitting is an innovative way to reduce some of our ecological problems.

BF+DA’s WHOLEGARMENT® knitting machines

I’m currently on Kickstarter raising funds for the production of the line with pre-orders available until the end of the campaign on May 16th. The styles are made from 100% all natural Italian Merino Wool. Merino wool has natural sweat wicking abilities to keep you dry and odor free during long days.

Help NIA clothing spread the word and get this line off the ground! Support the Kickstarter here.

To learn more about how brands are taking on sustainable strategies, check out our Sustainable Fashion Roadmap tool.