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Fjällräven, JanSport Turn Scraps Into Backpacks

Leftover material scraps will receive a new life, thanks to sustainable efforts at Fjällräven and JanSport.

Fjällräven launched its Samlaren initiative last month. The outdoor brand’s new program—Swedish for “the Gatherer”—will use leftover material to create unique, collectible products. All items bearing the Samlaren badge—a red and yellow patch with blue lettering and a white border—will feature leftover fabric from Fjällräven’s mills and factories. The brand plans to release the products in recurring, numbered capsule collections.

The first Samlaren product drop consists of re-invented standards made from surplus G-1000 fabric. Items include the Greenland Jacket in color-block patchwork, the Kånken backpack, a tote bag and a cap.

Fjällräven's initial Samlaren product drop includes the Greenland Jacket
Fjällräven’s initial Samlaren product drop includes the Greenland Jacket. Fjällräven

Backpack icon and VF Corp. subsidiary JanSport introduced its first collection made with excess factory materials last week. Every component of the limited-edition pack collection, it said, derives from pre-existing factory materials, including the ladder locks and zipper pulls, as well as the fabric.

The Surplus Ski n’ Hike collection—a revival of an iconic JanSport style—comes in pink, red and grey. It follows last year’s Recycled SuperBreak, the company’s first backpack made in part with 100 percent recycled fabric.

JanSport's Surplus Ski n' Hike backpack is made with excess factory materials
JanSport’s Surplus Ski n’ Hike backpack is made with excess factory materials . JanSport

“We challenged our designers to construct a backpack collection entirely from surplus fabrics and components from our factory, and we could not be more impressed with the result,” Roger Spatz, president at JanSport, said in a statement. “The Surplus Ski n’ Hike breathes new life into an archived silhouette and uses the textiles in a smarter, more sustainable way that prevents these elements from potentially going into landfill.”

While brands find new uses for leftover material, Gerber Technology is working minimize its proliferation.

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In November, the company unveiled the Gerber Atria Digital Cutter, an end-to-end solution for mass garment production. According to Lenny Marano, the company’s chief commercial officer, the machine’s accuracy allows manufacturers to nest products closer and cut with zero buffer, resulting in less material waste. Customers using the tool alongside Gerber’s AccuNest automated nesting software and AccuPlan cut planning software, he said, increased their material savings by 1 percent to 5 percent.

Just last week, Gerber announced new releases within its AccuMark Product Family which it says both accelerate time to market and improve quality, reduce errors and provide better control over the final product. Gerber also launched the V13 update to its CutWorks software. The new release focuses heavily on improving nesting engines, maximizing precision with enhancements to ManualNest and offering more visibility into the supply chain.