Patricia Ermecheo founded Novafiber in 2011 with the mission of collecting used clothing to be sold in South America at affordable rates. Further inspired to upcycle waste fabrics, she founded Osom Socks and Osomtex in 2016 to respin waste fabrics from donated clothing, deadstock, or other unwanted materials into recycled yarn. Osom Socks are sold to bring attention to this process, as the company’s goal is to produce threads to be sold in bulk to apparel brands. The company has started collecting material directly from brands to offer a more closed-loop system for upcycling for home goods, fashion and accessories, and upholstery.
Osom’s upcycling process does not use water or dyes, and the shredded fabrics are kept in their original colors. The re-spun threads are water resistant and flame retardant and come in several yarn counts, customizable by material, weave, and color. Osom currently only sells Osomtex socks, shirts, sweatshirts, and towels through their website, but they have collaborated with others to provide socks for specific occasions as well as re-spun material for new products. They plan to expand more into this side of production, partnering with companies to decrease the demand for new threads.
Production process: Mechanical/Chemical
Waste fabric from discarded garments is shredded according to color and respun into new threads with a variety of weave possibilities. The process uses no harsh chemicals, dyes, or water.
Osomtex repurposes millions of pounds of discarded post-consumer and post-industrial textile waste to create their upcycled yarns and fabrics, reducing the amount of fabric in landfills as well the demand for new threads. More than 70% of the materials used to make these threads and fabric are from upcycling more than 11 million pounds of discarded fabric every year. The products themselves have up to a 95% recycled content. This process uses no water, dyes, or harsh chemicals, making it a very sustainable alternative to new threads. This process saves gallons of water and pesticides that would be used to grow cotton for new threads. The waste water saved from not dying threads alleviates pollution of local rivers, oceans, groundwater, and wildlife. Technology uses clean solar energy in factories with fair working conditions.
Osomtex’s re-spun yarns are naturally water resistant and flame retardant. The material resembles other woven materials and can be used in a variety of structures, including a plain weave, fleece, blue circular knit, gray circular knit, and twill.
The material is sourced from solar-powered, fair trade factories in Guatemala. Osomtex is currently producing products for everyday wear and plans to expand production to supply their recycled, re-spun yarns to apparel brands around the world.
ACCESSORIES, FOOTWEAR, CLOTHING, HOME GOODS
Osom focuses on producing pieces for everyday use, including socks, shirts, sweatshirts, and towels. Osomtex has partnered with various companies to promote their products and expand collection and production of discarded garments and upcycled threads. They have partnered with Conservation International to donate 1,000 pairs of high quality socks for rangers protecting wildlife. Osomtex has also collaborated with the fashion brand Felder Felder to produce uniforms for a BMW event, as well as with Nike on their recent “Space Hippie” sneaker, and designer Stella McCartney on a customized bright yellow sock. Osomtex recently expanded their scrap collection in partnership with Reformation, in order to collect waste from their Los Angeles factories and create a more circular loop within their production. With unique fiber blends, the possibilities for customization for clients is nearly endless.
Nike’s Space Hippie sneaker
Osomtex socks (many patterns, colors)
Images from Osomtex.