In honor of the launch of our new children and baby capsule on Ulule x Who's Next: 100% upcycled quilted vests, we decided to tell you the story of our product...

Upcycled vests summer 2023 Azala

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The workshop "Les Petites Chutes"

The genesis of Azala was written at the beginning of 2020 in Madagascar, when Chabina (co-founder of the brand) decided to create a research office dedicated to upcycling within her clothing company. This desire to rework production scraps is inherent to the garment maker's profession, where dry losses of fabrics are necessarily important.

From accessories to clothes

Working scraps manual

The original idea was to recycle small pieces of fabric from factory cutting plans. At the beginning of the workshop, it was mainly accessories that were created entirely from these "textile wastes": bags and purses, computer covers, wallets, etc... Until the desire to make an entirely upcycled garment coincided with the workshop's know-how.

The upcycled padding

Upcycled padding

In early 2022, a simple idea was proposed: shred the smallest scraps to make a fully recycled quilt - in the form of wadding panels - and while the process seems easy, a few complexities remain. How do you fit this handmade wadding between two layers of fabric? How to prevent the crushed cotton from scattering?

A solution was quickly found to recreate an upcycled wadding: by enclosing and sewing the shredded cotton directly into an obsolete cotton veil... This was the beginning of a crazy adventure!


Quilting, patchwork, dormant stocks, obsolete accessories: the birth of the first 100% upcycled vest

At the beginning of the year 2022, there is no product yet, only a mechanism of transformation of industrial waste into recycled wadding and 100% cotton.

Logically, we decide to start from this wadding to make our first product: a quilted vest for children...

A new idea emerges: if we went further and made the first child's clothing without using any new material. It gets complicated. We try to rework our little threads of fabric, but it is too time consuming... and an idea comes to us... Why not standardize the shape of our scraps?

How do we go about it? We decide to come and work directly with the local garment makers to propose a CSR action plan that is easy to implement.

It is at the time of cutting that everything is played out. When a garment maker receives a roll of fabric, he prepares it to be cut by making his placement; that is to say that he comes to place all the pieces of his garment on his roll of fabric: legs, collars, sleeves, etc... But as they are not geometrical pieces that fit perfectly, an important part of the fabric (15-20%) is lost.

In all these empty spaces, we decide to place small squares of identical size so that after the cut, we can recover a standard size of scrap.

It is from these small squares that we then come to make the front of our vest!

Collection summer 2023. Upcycled vests for kids and babies.

For the rest of the vest, we have access to a large reservoir of dormant stock and unused accessories in the cellars of the makers...

Challenge taken up!

Continuation and beginning...

Beyond the garment, the base of our project was largely built: solar panels, water treatment unit, social center, medical center, permaculture, certifications (GOTS, ECOCERT, etc...). Our environment allowed us to launch a successful project from the beginning.

Obviously, it is never finished, and our real commitment is to go even further! To present you new products (and they are coming soon), to have more social and environmental impact... but also... to make a mark with our beautiful products!


Sofiane Bouhali for Azala