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REDEFINING THE ROLE OF FASHION TEXTILE’S WASTE WITH KRNACH

Get a glimpse of what an upcycled bag brand looks like and be inspired by KRNACH founder’s sustainable, creative process!

Words By Sophie Badaoui

17/05/2021

Based near Florence in Italy, KRNACH is a sustainable bag brand founded by American born designer Amanda Beth Krnach. Having worked within the fashion industry for over a decade, she realized its disastrous impact on the planet due to a toxic fashion culture and subsequently, the inconceivable yet real amount of textile waste generated. “This is how KRNACH came to life. By collecting “sourcing samples, strike-offs and fabric remnants” from textile mills and fast fashion businesses, the designer produced handmade, unique, sustainable bags and promoted the amazing practice of upcycling, sometimes called creative reuse.

What is interesting is, “It took around 7 years of working in the fashion industry for me to actually open my eyes and see the waste that is created not from the production side, but the creative side”, Amanda highlights. Indeed, she denounces the infuriating practices of fast fashion companies in throwing out previously collected sample fabrics when a season ends, and getting completely new ones to create multiple new collections. She also points out that any other component such as zips, buttons or patches goes through a cycle generating creative waste from creating new collections, which happens 2 to 4 times a year.

KRNACH was brought up after the designer felt “creatively incomplete designing to please other people’s/companies design aesthetics”, she shares. Plus, she genuinely wanted to give a second life to all those wonderful materials and fabrics that were going to waste.

As you can imagine, the design process of KRNACH bags is different from the rest. You see, the particularity of Amanda’s identity as a designer is that she is limited in her choice of materials, colors, patterns and fiber composition. These limits are however beneficial to Amanda, as they force her to think outside the box and push her creativity to its full potential, which reverberates well in her designs. With an innovative eye and a creative mind, she is willing to reuse precious pieces to create these one of a kind, beautiful and authentic bags. Furthermore, the brand’s packaging is 100% recyclable and the mailer 100% compostable.

The designer however admits that her biggest challenge involved sales and adapting to a consuming and consumed society, drawn in technology and social media, which she does not always relate to. Her advice for anyone is, “if you have an idea that you truly believe in, make it happen.”

When asked about her own definition of sustainability, she replies “making a significant change to reduce the harmful effects we have produced on both the planet and industry workers.” As she so delightfully reminds us, there are indeed many options today for the consumer to make the right choice in regards to the environment and human welfare. At the end, you can always choose to do the right thing and live sustainably. The designer herself started thrift shopping at the age of 15, and thus developed a deep appreciation for the idea that fashion pieces, just as humans, deserve a second chance.

“Fast fashion is sad”, Amanda states. Well, isn’t she fundamentally right? Isn’t it sad that humanity has got to the point of causing that much pain and damage, to itself and to its home? What is more overwhelming is that it has been that way for so long that it became the normality, thus ignoring its toxicity, as the designer reflects. It is therefore our duty to start asking ourselves the right questions when buying a garment, such as where it was made, how it was made or who made it. 

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