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»NEW BLUE is looking to create a new material identity out of old denim. The project is researching recycling processes and continuous material flows at the material and product level. Industrial embroidery turns simple, manually recycled non-woven denim into a tailored production piece for a new pair of jeans.«

Prof. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow

Three questions for Tim van der Loo

How did the idea for New Blue come about?
I was working for a charity in Berlin that collects and sorts used clothing and distributes it to the homeless in the city. Only a fraction of this was actually suitable for passing on. Unfortunately, this means that a great deal of clothing goes unused – including denim that is ripped or stained. I started using this denim as my raw material, to deconstruct it and analyse it.

What was your personal high point in the development process for New Blue? Was there a low point?
Taking apart the used denim by hand, transforming it into fibres and refining these into a textile was extremely labour-intensive. It also took a great deal of persuasive input to demonstrate that this concept will actually work. This is why I was especially pleased to get the chance to work with a range of industrial partners, who have helped me to process the used denim on a bigger scale. My personal high point was when the first pair of jeans was sewn together.

Where do you see your project in five years?
I want to create a platform for practical experimental research on the basis of textile recycling, and to work together with fashion brands and companies to recycle the waste that they produce. I genuinely want to develop recyclable textiles that flow in a circular economy. I want to work on both an industrial approach as well as an artisanal approach within local communities, and to design small collections in my own studio or together with fashion brands.