Turning waste into fine homeware and accessories
On a mission to throw away the throwaway culture, Shiv Textiles is already making a dent in the textile industry. In 2021, they managed to upcycle 360kg of textiles waste destined for landfill. They work with mills and factories across the UK, rescuing their deadstock materials – from yarn, zips, selvedges, to buttons and more – and handcrafting it into fine homeware and accessories as well as sustainable weaving kits.
By putting a modern spin on a traditional craft, its founder, Siobhan Martin, wants to show that it’s possible for us to enjoy pieces we all cherish while minimising the impact on the planet too.
Shiv Textiles was born in Siobhan’s bedroom in 2017. As an intern for big-name brands in the textiles and fashion industry, she was shocked by the amount of perfectly good materials going to waste. There had to be a better way to rescue and reuse some of that waste. In her eyes, fast fashion needs to take its foot off the pedal.
So she began contacting mills and factories, buying their yarns, zips, threads, buttons – all destined for landfill – by the kilogram. It’s from this otherwise throwaway waste that all Shiv Textiles’ cushions, scarves and weaving kits are created.
This process never gets beige-and-boring. As Siobhan says: “You have to think on your feet. Design with what you have. Every box of upcycled materials that lands in my studio feels like a small victory.”
Inspired by the rich textures of the modern world, the studio uses natural fibres to put a contemporary spin on traditional weaving techniques. Instead of following trends, their cushions and throws, scarves and purses are designed to transcend the seasons and made to last. After all, it’s the brand’s ethos that sustainability should never go out of style.
All products are designed, woven, sewn and finished by Siobhan in Brighton, England. Most are handwoven 4 to 16 shaft loom, while fabric samples are developed further and woven on a Dornier Rapier loom.
Siobhan concludes: “We work hard to make our supply chain as low-impact as possible. Our weaving kits are laser cut locally from environmentally friendly plywood, while our cushions inners are made to order by a family-run business just outside of London. We offset our carbon footprint by supporting tree-planting programmes through Ecologi.”
To find out more, have a browse on their website: shivtextiles.co.uk
Follow on Instagram: @shiv_textiles