Antonia Devereux talks to Nearly New Cashmere, a sustainable fashion brand which uses recycled cashmere to make beautiful clothing without the cost.
*This post is sponsored by Nearly New Cashmere*
Credit: Nearly New Cashmere
When did you start Nearly New Cashmere and why?
I’ve always had a dislike of waste so when I was looking for a way of earning a living alongside juggling a family with four children I started buying and selling second-hand clothes through eBay. I always noticed that 100% cashmere items sold really well and so I decided to just focus on second-hand cashmere, this was back in 2015. Since then the company has grown and as a team we are driven by a fierce vision to be a leader in the sustainable fashion arena and raise awareness of the beauty of second hand.
Where do you source your materials from?
We buy the majority of our cashmere from the clothing recycling trade across the UK and abroad. This means that the majority of our product is post-consumer waste. The small fraction of our products which are brand new are either end of line samples from a mill in Scotland or sewn from yarn collected from the mill floor.
How do you ensure ethical and sustainable practices throughout production?
Due to the nature of cashmere wool, our reconditioning process has a minimal impact on the environment. We wash garments at 30 degrees through our super energy-efficient washing machine. Then, we rack-dry each piece, ensuring it lays flat.
Our zero waste policy drives us to create something out of everything, even the most tired of garments. If a second-hand jumper can’t be sold in one piece, we know how to get the most out of every inch of fabric! Buttons are removed and placed in a drawer ready for another creation and we take them to the cutting room. From one jumper we can make:
- Fingerless Gloves – From the bottom half of the jumper’s arms
- Elbow Patches and Small Hearts – From the top of the arm
- Neck warmers/ Hats – From the fabric across the back and the main part of the body
We have managed to source the most eco-friendly packaging for our pieces to ensure our carbon footprint remains low.
What does sustainability mean to you and the brand?
Sustainability and the concept of circularity is at the absolute heart of our business – it’s what motivates us every single day both in how we conduct ourselves at work and at home.
Through us, thousands of pieces of discarded knitwear are intercepted every single year from both the UK and abroad (around 25% of the stock we see). We are always looking for innovative ways to reuse wasted cashmere yarn and plan to launch several new products this year.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for people wanting to reduce their impact through fashion?