Kallio, making old clothes new again

Nov 22, 2016 | written by:

They say the clothes don't make the woman but what happens to those clothes when they are no longer cool or just don’t fit anymore? Most people don’t know that the textile industry is one of the most wasteful industries in the world.

A whopping 85% of textile waste, indeed, ends up in landfills, which basically means you could re-create the height of a rocky mountain with these clothes. The advent of mass production has turned the concept of creating beautiful and high-quality clothing into a generic and wasteful industry, however, there are still many creators, innovators and designers who are trying to change the way we both understand and experience fashion.

One such designer is Karina Kallio, the founder of the brand Kallio, a US brand that transforms old men's shirts in clothing and accessories for boys and girls up to eight years of age. It all started when Karina bought mens’ vintage shirts featuring various prints and designs from a local textile recycler. Later these shirts were cut and hand-sewn by a cooperative of women in Brooklyn, New York and Manhattan laboratories and transformed into unique pieces of clothing for children. Kallio is helping to reduce its carbon footprint by involving local workers and preventing all items are don't made overseas in countries such as Bangladesh and India, where a lot of workers are paid an extremely low wage and have poor working conditions that can affect their health drastically and where factories produce fabrics and clothing using excessive amounts of pesticides and dye chemicals.

The fashion industry needs to change the way in which clothing is produced and start reusing what the world already has: “I worked as a menswear and womenswear designer for ten years, and my experience in the textile sector was inspired to create Kallio because I saw first-hand how much waste we were creating as an industry - explains Karina - In creating Kallio, it was really important to consider the line’s entire lifecycle, without compromising on quality or style. The brand uses high quality used men's shirts made from 100% cotton or denim and everything is designed and manufactured in New York to support the local industry and reducing our carbon footprint”. 

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