Recycling – from waste to diamonds

By jenniko | 5.1.2016

The amount of consumed clothing is enormous. Only Finns buy 70 million kilos of new clothes and home textiles per year, and this is about 13 kilos per person. The vast majority of that, about 10 kilos ends up as waste, which means more than 50 million kilos of textile waste per year. Fast fashion is taking over the shopping culture, new cheap clothing is brought to stores every week. The problem is that there are more and more cheap rags that are of poor quality and unsuitable for re-use.

As the natural resources decreases, we should all start consuming in a more sustainable way. We all should start to demand and buy quality. Quality fabrics last long and can be recycled time and time again.

This kind of needless textile material is a great source of inspiration. Old, used, faded, useless fabrics of good quality are excellent materials for new creations. There are also lots of partly destroyed material that can be used. Otherwise these materials would end up in the landfill. Use of used and recycled fabrics is one of our core principles. That is also where the name DFD, Diamonds From Dirt comes from. When we use new fabrics, we prefer for instance organic, natural fibers, and the impact on the environment is taken into consideration.

Recycled fabrics

Velour & Denim from Kierrätyskeskus Oy

Recycled fabrics

Amazing shiny fabrics

Recycled fabrics

Old vintage fabric

Recycled fabrics

Recycled Denim & Flowers

DFD AW15 Bucket Hat

Diamonds From Dirt’s Keep Ya Head Up Bucket hats are made of recycled fabrics.

MORI AW15 Jacket Men

This Mori jacket is made of old quality wool fabric

Kierrätyskeskus Oy, The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre Ltd, offers an alternative to single-use culture, and is a source of materials for us. Kierrätyskeskus is a nonprofit organization, which receives, sorts out, sells and donates second-hand goods. The mission is to reduce the consumption of natural resources and waste. They want to increase environmental awareness and responsibility as well as organize opportunities to get involved.

Recycling centre

Reuse Centre at Kyläsaari in Helsinki is only about 1 km from our work space (Pic: Helsinki Reuse Centre)

Recycling for textiles and clothing is a tough challenge. Kierrätyskeskus receives much more textiles than it can sell. In addition, the amounts of bad quality textiles are growing continuously, and also the amount of textiles that ends up in waste incinerator plants is increasing. There are only few companies that are processing textile waste fibers in Finland, and these exciting ones get the needed fibers already from close by. Also, there are no resources to transport textile waste for long distances. To find new solutions, Kierrätyskeskus is taking part in a new innovative project that is processing worn-out cotton textiles and clothes, which cannot be re-used, into new recycled fibers for textile industry with a technique developed by VTT -Technical Research Centre of Finland.

There are still many challenges to conquer. With new recycling innovations, changes in the ways of consuming, and easy collection system for all used textiles and clothing, the amounts of textile waste should be minimized. We want to take our part to this and keep turning waste into diamonds.

Tytti and Jenni



The Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre – The Company

Helsingin Sanomat, 18.3.2015:  Tekstiili tukkii kierrätyskeskuksen – yhä useampi vaate päätyy energialaitoksen uuniin

Kierrätyskeskus: Huonon tekstiilin hautajaiset

Kierrätyskeskus: Poistopuuvillasta uutta kuitua muotiteollisuudelle

Ethica: Turning waste cotton into new fibre for the fashion industry