Get Scrap-Happy with Ace & Jig's Zero-Waste Fashion Empire
The Ace & Jig founders Jenna Wilson and Cary Vaughan are famous for dreaming up woven fabrics that earn their own followings, but textile-world domination isn’t their only goal. Since launching their hit line back in 2009, Jenna and Cary have taken a no-waste approach, making a concerted sustainability push by producing their label at an ethical factory in India and even taking repair road trips to stitch up well-loved Ace & Jig garments across the U.S. Here’s how they make it work, according to Jenna—and how their fabric scraps (and their scrappiness!) fueled our latest edition.
Cary and Jenna getting scrappy with Elil.
THE THREE Rs
“Sustainability is extremely important to us—as a no-waste company, every single drop of our textiles is repurposed, reused, or recycled. We’ve zoomed in on a few ways we can lessen our negative impact, with the two largest initiatives for us being prolonging the lifespan of our garments (which we encourage with our swap events) and reducing our textile waste.”
“Scraps from our line are generated primarily during the cutting process. As each garment is cut from our custom woven textiles, there are small pieces that end up as scraps due to the shapes of the pattern pieces. Our patterns are created with the intent to limit scraps as much as possible, but between the cutting and quality control, we do generally see about 20 percent of each meter becoming ‘scrap’ fabric.”
“We repurpose and reuse our fabric scraps in a myriad of ways, most often to make home items like napkins, flags, and quilts, as well as kids’ clothing. We frequently team up with other artists and designers—such as Pauline Boyd of Counterpane, Milena Silvano, B Sides, Caroline Kaufman, and Thompson Street Studios—to reimagine the scraps in their own aesthetic. It’s amazing to see our textile remnants take new life in their work.”
NO SMALL FEAT
“Designing with fabric scraps can be much trickier. Each one is a unique size and shape—and most are quite small! The scrunchie project was perfect for them since it transforms small pieces of fabric into something useful. Taking each scrap and carefully piecing it together is a labor of love.”