Accurate formula: no waste of fabric
The concept may sound good, but the manufacturing process was far from easy. Sing laughs and recalls that the team was too ambitious for this project at first: “On one hand everyone insisted on not wasting any material, not even an inch of fabric, a zip, or a button; on the other hand, we wanted users to love the new products. So four styles were designed just for the bags: large and extra-large shopping bags, a messenger bag and a cross-body bag.”
When it came to the pattern drawing process, difficulties arose. The old uniforms come in many different sizes, which means various patterns need to be drawn. “The waist widths of the trousers range from 24 inches to over 40 inches, while the inventory varies for each size,” continues Sing, who adds that he has spent considerable time sorting out the sizes and working out the most economic cutting layout.
In order to be 100% eco-friendly when upcycling the old uniform, Sing and his colleagues decided to make two small bags from each pair of trousers. “Basically, a trouser leg can make one small bag,” Sing explains. He did not waste any materials such as belts and buttons: the belt can be used to make the bottom of the bag stiffer, and easier to hold things; while the buttons can be transformed into little accessories, or added to the inner side of the bag, to make it easier to hang some small objects like keychains.
Apart from being environmentally friendly, Hactl also wanted to provide work opportunities for the disadvantaged in society. So Hactl collaborated with non-profit organisation St. James’ Settlement Jockey Club Upcycling Centre, to involve people with disabilities in the production.