New Order of Fashion (Part 2) | Work in Progress

At the beginning of Rutte's intelligent lockdown, Harm Rensink skillfully provided the Dutch an easy way to declutter their homes. With a playful intervention he arranged for a temporary clothing drop-off on the Stationsplein. The result: 1500 kilos of Eindhoven textile, which he would process into new garments. The first items are now in store.

With Work in Progress we follow inspiring projects of Eindhoven makers. Earlier this year we talked to Harm Rensink of New Order of Fashion about his plans to change the clothing industry by
recycling Eindhoven's textiles into new products. The platform is growing and recently opened a physical store in the Heuvel Galerie. Today part 2. 

Do you know what the colors of Eindhoven are, Harm asks. We are standing in the middle of the store in front of the color bar code that fashion designer Bart Hess made from the collected textiles. As it turns out: people in Eindhoven like to dress in black, followed by almost 50 shades of gray. At the very end the crazy colors: pink, green and yellow.

The building in de Heuvel is the physical operating base of New Order of Fashion, which has been presenting innovative fashion projects for years during Dutch Design Week. The platform is a cry for more sustainability in the fast-paced fashion industry, says Harm. He therefore collects old clothes together with his team. The most beautiful items are hung in the store, the worn out pieces end up in the shredder. Together with Wolkat, a company in circular textile recycling, he develops new yarn from the textile waste. NOoF offers young designers an opportunity to turn them into shirts and sweaters again.

How does it work exactly?

You can hand in your old clothes in our store. Depending on the weight, you build up an amount of credits with us. So you get a discount on the purchase of a new item, because you've basically supplied the raw materials for it.

A circular system?

Yes, that's exactly the idea. We make Eindhoven clothes from Eindhoven fabrics. After a while we hope to be able to show you how much water and Co2 Eindhoven has saved with this way of producing. Most of the old textiles are still disappearing in incinerators.

And you also have a repair service?

Yes, we have several sewing machines in our store for repair and alteration of clothes.

And you also give workshops?

Yes, we see a community of people emerging who want to learn how to repair their own clothes. We have designer Matthew Needham giving online courses, for example. If you join, we'll provide you with a set of threads and needles. We’re also planning to organize workshops in our store.

Where do you hope to be in two years with the New Order of Fashion Store?

I hope people will become more aware of how much energy it takes to produce clothes. I'm not against new clothes, but I think we should move towards a more sustainable fashion industry. With high quality clothes that can last for a while.

Meanwhile, I hope to inspire major brands to produce more sustainably. Together with Wolkat we're testing how we can make the best yarn from old textiles. At NOoF we regularly work with brands such as Adidas and Vlisco. It would be great to develop local collections with them, also outside Eindhoven.

In this series we always ask if there is anything we can help with. Is there anything you need?

Does anyone have the phone number of Queen Máxima? I cordially invite her to join us on King's Day to discover what a more sustainable clothing industry looks like. And of course I hope that she will donate an old t-shirt too.

What if you are still at the very beginning? If you feel like you have gold in your hands, but you are still a long way from being there? Every month we ask a design or tech talent about his or her work in progress. And if we can help with something. Would you like to tell us more about a project? Send us an e-mail!

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