We're absolutely enamored of Reknit, a new project launched by the graphic designer Haik Avanian that turns old sweaters into handsome new objects-with the help of Avanian's mom. This month, she's making scarves. You simply send an old sweater to Avanian's mom; she then unravels it and transforms (or reknits) it into a new, one-of-a-kind scarf. We heard from Avanian yesterday, and here's what he had to say about the project:
The idea of re-knitting is nothing new to our family, we've always been very resourceful, whether times were tough economically or not. A really extreme example of this is one roll of yarn that has been in our family for over 40 years. My grandma first used it to knit jackets for my mom and aunt when they were born. As they grew the jackets were combined into one sweater for my mom. As she got older and got into knitting herself, she repurposed it once again into a dress for herself, a two-piece outfit for my sister after she was born, and finally into a jacket for my sister when she got a bit older. We still have that jacket, and it's a great family heirloom that has a lot of our history embedded.While this project was originally only meant to encourage my mom to partake in her hobby more often, I think it's also a great way of spreading information about this technique. We're hoping people see the potential in re-using clothing made from yarn, and maybe start similar projects within their families and communities. It's a small habit, but many of these small habits can add up to a whole sustainable lifestyle over time.
Avanian will tell you that this sort of small business incubation is a great model for aligning good design with self-initiated projects, and we couldn't agree more. For the designer who wants something more personal than a career in advertising, Reknit could prove to be a fantastic case study. And it's one of the more clever, eye-catching, and authentic instances of sustainable fashion I can recall.Next month, Avanian's mom will be turning sweaters into of the following: beanies, iPod cases, cut-off gloves, or socks. (My vote is for the socks.)