Seljak Sisters Share Their Circular Production Process

by: Rosie Dalton | 4 months ago | Features

Image: Samantha and Karina Seljak. Image source.

Samantha and Karina Seljak are the sisters behind Seljak blankets. These aren’t just any blankets, though, they are crafted using offcuts from the factory floor of Australia’s oldest mill, in Tasmania. Made from 70% recycled Australia Merino wool, 30% recycled alpaca and mohair, plus some polyester for strength – these blankets are created in a circular production process. Here, the founders share their process. 

Rosie Dalton: Why are you so passionate about closing the loop?
Samantha Seljak: Closed loop means the same resources are cycled through the same process to make products with little to no waste, which reduces extraction, energy use and [overall] waste. For us this means that instead of using new wool from a sheep, we use wool that has been returned to us [as] old blankets. We [also] re-manufacture offcuts from blanket production.

Karina Seljak: We're passionate about closing the loop because we feel we must respond to the circumstances of today. The challenges we’re facing are overconsumption, climate change, and inequality. We are extracting and wasting resources at unsustainable rates and hurting people and the planet in the process. So let's design products that people need and love, to help them participate in a new social-economic model.

Rosie: Can you run us through the Seljak production process?
Karina and Samantha: Our mill spins and weaves fine wool blankets, collecting offcuts [as they go]. These might be from the spinning or weaving stage, from overruns, trimmings or scraps. These offcuts are then shredded into small fibres in an industrial shredding machine. [From here], yarn is spun onto spools, before it’s used to weave blankets on large machine looms operated by highly skilled weavers. The blankets are either dyed after they are woven, or beforehand as yarn. Then they are finished at the mill and sent to our warehouse for distribution. 

Shop our selection of Seljak blankets here.

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