How do you remanufacture blankets?
When we collect your old Seljak Brand blanket, we send it to the mill for remanufacturing. The mill has a ragging machine which shreds factory floor offcuts and old blankets. This shredded resource is then combed out until the individual fibres are separated. The fibers are then prepared for spinning. The spinning machine effectively twists the fibres together to create yarn. As the fibre is twisted and spun, we use polyester for the short, shredded fibres to catch on to. The resulting yarn is then woven on a loom into the next Seljak Brand blanket. Voila!
Will Seljak Brand ever really close the loop with these blankets? That is, I plan to have this blanket for a long time and can’t imagine I’ll be sending it back to the mill anytime soon.
By providing an end of life solution, Seljak Brand is taking the onus off you, the customer. We’re taking responsibility for what we’re putting on this Earth and have created a viable solution for what will happen when you no longer want the blanket. Remanufacturing ensures the blanket will retain its value, eliminate the need to use new, raw resources and reduce waste to landfill.
Before providing an end-of-life solution, designing a product that doesn’t age in the eye of the customer and lasts a lifetime is the most sustainable way to make goods. Seljak Brand blankets have been made at a mill that has been manufacturing for 150 years. The quality is paramount to the integrity of the product, so we believe you can have your Seljak blanket for life if you take care of it.
Fixing and repairing is also important ahead of remanufacturing. Only when the blanket has been repaired within an inch of its life is when it should go back to the mill for manufacturing. This is when we will close the loop by shredding the blanket to spin new yarn and weave more blankets.
Given some of Seljak Brand’s customers are businesses where the blanket gets used and washed consistently and therefore worn quickly, for example a hotel, there is the probability we’ll close the loop a lot earlier. For example, a hotel may purchase a bunch of Seljak Brand blankets and they may want to refresh the texture and even colour or style after a few years. In this situation we’d be able to deliver new blankets made out of their old ones.
Why are you using leather to make the blanket strap?
At this stage, Seljak Brand is using leather to manufacture our straps because of the longevity of the product and the locality - we can use Australian manufacturers. And like our blanket, these straps will last a lifetime. However, we understand that the animal agriculture industry is incredibly impactful and we are pushing to find alternatives ourselves. We’ve been prototyping a recycled PET strap (made out of recycled plastic water bottles) which we would manufacture if it proves environmentally viable and if we could close the loop. This would mean moving production offshore to China. Ultimately, we’re working toward making all of our products closed loop, including the leather strap.
Care for your blanket
Merino wool is very low maintenance for a highly performing material. Wicking means merino fibre can absorb and evaporate large quantities of moisture. This is why merino is lightweight and warm when wet, quick drying, breathable, insulating and odor resistant. Additionally, the natural oils in the wool mean the material is not easily stained. Help extend your blanket’s life by following these instructions in order.
Air in the sun to freshen. Brush to remove dirt. Spot clean with soapy water. Machine wash. Lay flat to dry. Do not tumble dry. Dry cleanable.
To care for your leather strap, use a good leather polish or oil to keep your strap looking fresh. Keep the strap away from water, sharp objects and greasy substances. The leather will become slightly darker and more flexible with age.
Store your blanket
In the warmer months, store your Seljak Blanket in a cool, dry place that avoids the sunlight. A sealed plastic container is best (vacuum bags are okay but may take the spring out of your blanket). Ensure the blanket is completely clean and dry when you pack it away, as moisture can eventually lead to the formation of mildew, and moths are attracted to grime. Airtight sealing protects against moths, which will want to lay eggs in your blankets. If you own a cedar or camphor chest, wrapping the blanket in clean dry cotton before storing works well.
If you’d like to add moth deterrents, natural options including clove, cedar or lavender will leave your blankets smelling fresher than mothballs! Note the effectiveness of these will reduce as their scent diminishes with time, so finding the right storage solution is the first port of call.