Each year the average Australian sends 23 kilograms of discarded clothing to landfill. That’s about 800,000 tonnes nationally.
Acutely aware of her industry’s environmental impact, IN BED founder Pip Vassett started the Back IN BED program — an initiative repurposing her brand’s disused linen textiles. ‘The project started in May 2021,’ Pip says. ‘So far we have diverted approximately 200 kilograms of waste from landfill.’
For their first range of fully upcycled products, the newly B Corp certified label joined forces with Sherrin Koch of Heirloom Quality Supplies to create six handmade quilts from IN BED’s old products, sample offcuts, and damaged or discontinued stock.
Sherrin’s work and ethos as a handmade quilt studio is already grounded in sustainability, making her the perfect person to help IN BED ‘close the loop’ on its textile waste. ‘Historically speaking, quilts have always been made from old, scrap, and surplus pieces of fabric,’ she explains. ‘People used what they had on hand to craft an object with a utilitarian purpose, but it was the process of quilt making and “makers hand” that would bring new life and new beauty into these materials.’
Sherrin took the same approach with the new IN BED quilts, finding plenty of ‘real estate’ in ‘used’ fabrics that had hardly been touched. The handcrafted quilts feature a 100 per centre recycled wool inner to ensure they are not only beautiful and sustainable, but cosy and practical.
‘[Linen] is a beautiful, natural fibre — it will break down — but we would rather see it used and cherished as a beautiful quilt instead,’ she says. ‘The time they take to finish can vary wildly depending on intricacy, but is usually between 20 to 70 hours of labour.’
The blankets are geometric and inspired by traditional designs Sherrin calls ‘quilt blocks.’ A mix of warm, rich and natural colours runs through the collection, from tobaccos and tans in one, to a brilliant blue-toned scheme of midnight and navy.
Sherrin draws on enduring techniques that have barely changed ‘over hundreds of years,’ so you know her quilts will stand the test of time.