Textile innovator Byborre helps designers reduce waste
âWe have developed a new process that enables designers to innovate,â says Borre Akkersdijk, co-founder of Dutch textile innovation studio and clothing brand Byborre.
Borre Akkersdijk, co-founder of Dutch textile innovation studio and clothing brand Byborre, was drawn to the textile industry because it was one of the few sectors that had not yet been truly modernized. Textiles, of course, were one of the main engines of the industrial revolution. And, much later, the fast fashion boom of the 1990s accelerated the growth of the industry. But, says Akkersdijk, âit was all old fashioned. It was not driven by technology but by large, labor-intensive factories. Byborre was inspired by the tactility of textiles in a world that had not been revolutionized.
Founded in 2010, Byborre is committed to fighting waste in the industry. Within the textile supply chain, fiber manufacturers often influence the direction of yarn manufacturers, which influences the direction of textile manufacturers. On the receiving end are the designers, who usually have little say over what and how textiles are made. When they need textiles for their products, they mostly choose from what is on the market or visit industry shows looking for something that is closest to what they have in mind. Ironically, while the creators of brands understand their end users best, it is the textile manufacturers who drive the product. It is this misalignment that, over the past decade, Byborre has addressed in his mission to build a new ecosystem. âWe have reversed the supply chain,â says Akkersdijk. âWe start from the creators. ”
Byborre: “We have developed a new process that allows creators to innovate”
Jacket, â¬ 1,298; pants, â¬ 598, both Byborre. Photography: Umit Savaci. Fashion: Jason Hughes
The company recently launched Byborre Create, a scalable platform, operated through an online app, that gives creators direct access to sustainable design choices, innovations and creative tools. The aim is to democratize innovation, support responsible textile production and encourage suitable and sustainable products. âWe have developed a new process that allows creators to innovate,â says Akkersdijk.
Byborre Create breaks down the supply chain into four simple design steps and guides brands through an intuitive workflow: first, determining the function of the fabric – whether for apparel, interiors or automotive – and choose the appropriate threads from the organized and verified library of the platform. ; second, explore types of knits to find the perfect weight and structure to match their creative vision; third, compose the color; and finally, the addition of aesthetic elements to infuse the DNA of their brand into the textile.
Better products, less textile waste
âWhen designers and brands start using the platform, we start a new dialogue. So, we all learn and improve when everyone else uses it. We want to change the industry with this honest open source mindset. We want brands to make better products and fewer errors, so that they harm the environment less. ‘
Akkersdijk points out that the textile industry‘s R&D process can be a huge waste. âAs a creator, if you don’t have influence in this process, how can you control your impact? ” he says. Byborre therefore set up a hub in Amsterdam for R&D and sampling. When the creative needs have been defined, a full production brief is sent to the respective factories. âThe machines here mirror exactly those of the factories we license. Now, because Byborre attracts customers, secures material supply, and provides them with the best schedule and design, factories can reduce their minimum order quantity (it used to be between 2,000 and 5,000m, but they can now work with as little as 250 m) and enables faster delivery. Brands don’t have to worry about overproducing or sharing the same textile design with competitors. ‘
Transparency of the impact of each product
Akkersdijk believes that there should also be a transparent overview of the product. âRight now we are doing our own life cycle assessment [an analysis of the potential environmental impact of products during their entire life cycle] for all textiles created by or through us, and a product passport that indicates where the fiber came from, where the yarn was born, where the textile was created and how it was shipped; in short, the entire textile industry.
Fortunately, Byborre has no shortage of like-minded stakeholders in the industry. Collaborators, many of whom already use Byborre Create, include AZ Factory, BMW, Kering, Porter and Natuzzi, with whom he recently launched the âWaterâ textile collection. Byborre is also working with Sabine Marcelis and Formafantasma for the next textile developments. In the future, it hopes to set up hubs in Asia and the United States to achieve another important marker of sustainable development: proximity to its markets. Â§