Our goal


We have the lofty goal of making all our garments Zero-Waste.

At Nisa, we want to promote sustainable fashion, and part of this means taking responsibility for any of the waste that we are creating in the whole life cycle of our garments.

We are starting our Zero-Waste journey with the launch of our Activewear 2024 range. This range comprises leggings, shorts, two bra’s and a pair of men’s active boxer briefs.

One of the bra’s is not zero waste, in order to maintain the bust support needed, but this is the beginning of our journey, and we are planning to overhaul all of Nisa’s patterns and turn them into Zero-Waste.

Watch this space, and come along for the ride - there is a better way of doing things, and if we want them to become the norm, we need to make them part of our everyday life in an easy way. Nisa garments are a great way to start.

Life Cycle of your Nisa garment

Nisa is working towards reducing the waste that occurs in a garment's life cycle, to Zero-Waste, where possible.


At Nisa 2.0, we are going back to the drawing board and will completely redesign the patterns of our ranges, over time, to be zero-waste designs.

Zero-waste means that no fabric is wasted in the cutting of the garment.

Consumer Use

We create high quality, durable garments that have a longer lifespan, so that you get the most use out of it.

You can help garments last longer by washing them in cold water, on a delicate or low spin cycle, or in a laundry bag, and letting them line dry.

Nisa are also looking to introduce a repair service for our bras.


Underwear, activewear and swimwear are all types of garments that have a definite end of life - when you have worn them out, they are genuinely worn out.

Knowing that they will need to be disposed eventually in some way and there is not really a second-hand market for worn out underwear, activewear and swimwear, what are we doing to reduce the impact on the environment?

For natural fibre garments, you are able to send them to the Nisa Recycle Programme or to compost them.

For synthetic fibre garments e.g. Activewear and Swimwear, we are still researching what the best options are, though Terracycle seems to offer a good fabric and clothing recycling scheme.

A Message from Pam, CEO/production manager, May 2024

Our Zero Waste Journey

"Zero-waste pattern making is a clever way of making patterns that tessellate into each other so
that no scraps or off cuts are created in the cutting process.

I first heard about zero waste pattern-making a number of years ago, and really dismissed the idea as being ‘something for flowy-hippie clothes’ and not my vibe. I like things to be fitted correctly, and I like each piece of clothing to be simple (so it can be heavily accessorised). How wrong I was.

Last year, the wonderful team at Mindful Fashion put on a series of Zero Waste Pattern-making workshops for people within the fashion and apparel Industry, and I’d been thinking a lot about waste minimisation, and the steep increase in the cost of shipping had made me wonder if the
principals of Zero-Waste Pattern making could in fact be applied to garments that we were
creating at Nisa.

Surely not - but what if we could...

The workshop I attended was run by Emma La Rocca of Emroce, and was inspiring. I left
feeling like this was something that I could do, and it would really make a difference if I could
implement it into Nisa’s everyday work.

The workshop was the easy bit. I then spent the next year re-making patterns in my head every which way I could think of, but putting them down on paper made me realise that this Zero Waste stuff was much harder than I thought - particularly if I wanted to keep the great fit of Nisa’s garments.

I have persevered and am really pleased with the final result of the Nisa Activewear 2024
collection, with shorts, leggings and a bralette that are all Zero Waste."

What is pre-consumer waste?

“Pre-consumer waste, defined as “clean waste”, occurs by the producer before the garment reaches to the consumer (Domina and Koch, 1997) and it is created during the manufacturing of fibre, yarn, fabric, and garment and produced by the fashion industry (Caulfield, 2009).

Pre-consumer waste is classified as; textile swatch waste, end-of-roll textile, damaged textile waste, unsold clothing waste, cut-and-sew waste, sampling yardage waste, and clothing sample waste (Redress, 2017).”

Further reading: Esra Enes, Şölen Kipöz, The role of fabric usage for minimization of cut-and-sew waste within the apparel production line: Case of a summer dress, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 248, 2020.

How much fabric is wasted in the cutting process of garment making?

This ranges between manufacturers and could range from 10% up to 50% around the world.

Esra Enes, Şölen Kipöz: “An apparel cutting process results in cut-and-sew waste, varying between 10% and 15% (Abernathy et al., 1999, Hayes et al., 1997), which is ecologically unsound. On the other hand, Aldrich (Aldrich, 2008) indicated that manufacturers expect the efficiency of the marker plan to be more than 80% in order to reach minimum cut-and-sew waste.”

Ramesh De Silva: “Thirdly cutting residues, when fabrics are marked, laid, and cut out into desired shapes and sizes, even with conscious effort as much as 8-15% of the fabric, referred to as textile scraps and roll ends can end up on the cutting room floor.”

Swetha Jayalakshmi and Banumathy Sundararaman: "Among this cutting, waste is generated daily in huge quantities. Marker efficiency also plays a major role in cutting waste. An efficient marker will reduce waste. A study was conducted to investigate the fabric wastage in various sections in garment manufacture in T-shirt manufacturing units in Bangladesh. It was seen that cutting waste contributed 50% of the total waste".

Further reading:

R. Nayak, Sustainable technologies for fashion and textiles, Woodhead Publishing, 2019

Swetha Jayalakshmi, Banumathy Sundararaman (2024). Pre-consumer textile waste- A study and design development

Case study: Ramesh De Silva, founder of Compreli (2023). Waste isn’t waste until we waste it: Repair as a best-practice in reducing pre-consumer industrial fashion waste. Compreli is a
pioneer in textile repair, restoration, and order fulfilment in Sri Lanka.
What is Zero Waste pattern cutting?

Zero waste pattern making is a clever way of making patterns that tessellate into each other,
leaving no gaps between the pieces, creating Zero-Waste at the cutting stage.

This innovative way of pattern making was brought to light in 2018, by Timo Rissanen and Holly McQuillan’s fabulous book ‘Zero Waste Fashion Design’ - which teaches a pioneering new concept in how we can make less waste when creating garments, and how designing as you go when pattern
making in this way will also dictate some of the design.

In an industry that is the third biggest polluter in the world, and is responsible for creating
massive amounts of post-consumer waste, no one seems to be talking about the pre-consumer waste that is also created by the fashion industry. This is all the scraps and off cuts that go
straight to the landfill before the garments are even sewn up.

What are the difficulties of achieving zero or minimal waste?

i) Grading as fitting different sizes of garments to the predetermined width of the fabric is challenging.
ii) Accommodating the curves of our bodies without leaving gaps in the fabric.
iii) Fabric flaws.
iv) Unconventional cutting methods may put off some cutters.