Though it bears no resemblance to denim, Edwin USA’s new home goods collection is built on old jeans.
The Los Angeles-based brand just became the first partner of Saitex’s textile upcycling business Stelapop, launching a limited-edition capsule collection of coasters, serving trays and small storage boxes made from pre-and post-consumer textile waste.
Stelapop, which is an acronym for “Saving Trees Eliminate Landfills and Protect Our Planet,” launched in 2021 as a way for the Vietnam-based apparel manufacturer (and now mill) to repurpose its own production waste. It created a process for recycling mono-material and blended textiles into unique applications, including wall panels, flooring tiles and home furnishing.
After sorting collected textile waste by color, a custom-built machine removes buttons, zips, rivets and other trims. Stelapop’s system then chemically recycles the fibers, mixes them with a proprietary binder blended with natural rubber, and forms multipurpose panels, each of which is created from approximately 25 to 60 pairs of blue jeans. The panels present a more sustainable alternative to wood-based products and in turn alleviate some of the strain placed on the world’s forests.
“Every day we see repetitive cycles of fashion waste without an end,” said Aummy Ninkamhang, Stelapop CEO. “We could no longer wait to take action to find immediate solutions for our industry. That is why we are so happy to partner with Edwin USA, a brand that is taking responsibility for its waste and offering its customers a way to close the loop.”
In 2020, Edwin relaunched in the U.S. with a new leadership team and focus on sustainability and teamed with Saitex to provide production and delivery for all new Edwin USA collections. Edwin USA now works exclusively with Saitex USA in Los Angeles using sustainable fibers like organic cotton and circular processes.
“Since our inception, Edwin USA has carefully considered every step in the life of our products from seed to shelf and beyond; as such we strive to ensure that both our materials and production are as ethical and sustainable as possible,” said Kevin Child, Edwin USA director of marketing. “Closing the loop and providing a purpose for our jeans after the consumer is done with them has been a major focus of ours and we’re thrilled to have found that solution through Stelapop and their expertly crafted products.”
The Stelapop facility can convert 36 tons of textiles into multipurpose panels each month—but this is just the beginning, according to Ninkamhang. Future plans include opening facilities closer to waste locations in the U.S. and Europe to gather post-consumer waste and in Southeast Asia to collect pre-consumer waste. Doing so will help reduce its logistical carbon footprint.
“We don’t want to produce something from waste that will just become waste again; we want people to appreciate it, so we always ask ourselves: How can we turn waste into something that everyone will love?” she said.
The limited-edition Edwin x Stelapop capsule collection is available now on Edwin-USA.com, with additional products such as side tables, lounge chairs, dinner tables, hangers, bookcases and more on the way. The collection retails for $18-$62.