This month our feature vendor is Unravelled. Unravelled is a zero waste yarn company that started up recently in Calgary. If you haven't had a chance to check out their yarn yet, now is the time to shop their store.
This month we sat down with one half of the Unravelled team, Diana.
First Some Background
Diana and I have known each other for a number of years now. We met through a friend when we were at the U of C and occasionally hung out, mostly at the skating rink on Friday nights when our groups of friends ran into each other (great way to burn off stress after a long week of studying). Diana has since joined the BookCrossing group I am a part of so that we see each other at meetings.
Diana is a newly graduated business student from Mount Royal University, in General Management and her business partner Ashika is going into 3rd year Marketing at MRU, owns Athaker Photography and is working at Chaordix over the summer. Both members of Enactus Mount Royal and the creators of Unravelled Yarns Inc., a zero-waste yarn company that specializes in transforming laundered, branded, waste corporate t-shirts into high quality, easy to use t-shirt yarn.
How Did You Come Up With Your Name?
Ashika and I were discussing needing a name and we both texted each other "Unravelled" at the same time. We suspect it came from this documentary, which had a profound effect on both of us. [The video is just over 13 minutes long and is worth checking out... The views the workers have about our sometimes wasteful life are very eye opening. It is worth watching]
What Attracted You to Creating Unravelled?
Enactus is all about creating entrepreneurial solutions to social issues that exist, in a collaborative, consultative, thoughtful way. We wanted to create a project that would have a meaningful impact on the world and selected textile waste as a relatively unknown but enormous issue we could help address. I was aware of t-shirt yarn being created by makers all over the internet, and after throwing a bunch of ideas around, we decided we could make t-shit yarn commercially available, as well as help to create jobs for those affected by homelessness.
How Long Have You Been Making Your Creations?
Unravelled officially started November 1st, 2016, but I started experimenting with the yarn at the end of September. I had some t-shirts I wanted to recycle and so I cut them up to make a rug. Little did I know those badly made balls of yarn would be the genesis of an award-winning company. It took a lot of practice and refinement, but we've settled on a fast, cost-effective way to make the yarn that can be patented and make fantastic yarn.
How Do You Decide What to Create?
We receive donations of outdated branded clothing from corporations, providing them the valuable service of sustainable upcycling. We focus on corporately branded clothing because it comes in large blocks of the same color and size, allowing us to produce the yarn efficiently and provide our knitters with reliable stocks of colors.
Any Big Plans for New Items?
We're working on being the first producer of worsted (lighter) weight yarn worldwide. All of our competitor yarns are either machine made (and therefore brand new materials- not recycled) or are incredibly heavy yarn weights which are hard to work with. We want to provide our customers with high quality, easy to work with t-shirt yarn that helps the planet and makes an amazing sweater or other garment.
What Do You Hope People Get From Your Items?
We hope that when people buy our product that they receive a fantastic product that they're thrilled to use, but also provides a meaningful, sustainable social impact. We are all about being a part of our community and doing good, and we hope our customers feel a part of that.
Do You Have a Favorite Product That You Have Created?
We both love our Market Basket and have received a lot of requests to purchase it. It will probably be one of the first knitted products we create for sale.
What is Your Favorite Product Created By Someone Else on Thea-Bel?
What Prompted You to Join Thea-Bel?
I've known Sarah since university at University of Calgary through a mutual friend, and I wanted to help support Thea-Bel.
Is There Anything Else You Want People To Know?
We love our knitters and we're always looking for more! If you're a knitter and you want to help create patterns, we'd love to give you some yarn to try out in exchange for a pattern and an Instagram post. Many of our Instagrammers have gained a ton of followers after posting products made with our yarn. Contact us at https://letsgetunravelled.com/ anytime!
Is There Anywhere Besides Thea-Bel That People Can Get Your Items?
Do You Do Custom Work?
We can't accommodate requests for custom colors, just because of how we get our t-shirts, however, we do wholesale for orders of 10 balls and above, as well as free delivery in Calgary on all orders.
There you go, I hope you enjoyed learning more about Unravelled. If you place an order over $40 this month (till May 31, 2017) you get a free ball of yarn. Learn more about this promotion here.