UKFT Rise – Founder Feature with Weffan
Meet Graysha Audren, founder of Weffan. Weffan aims to design an entire production system for a future that makes the adoption of on-demand, zero-waste, transparent, near-shore clothing production easier.
Read Graysha’s feature with UKFT Rise below:
Company launched in: 2020, after years of research into 3D weaving techniques.
My background is in… Fashion & textile design, with a specialisation in woven textiles at Central Saint Martins. My research into 3D weaving techniques uses systems thinking applied to the fashion supply chain.
I decided to start my business because… When you look at fashion as an ecosystem, supply chains are fragile, inflexible, unresponsive, and ultimately unsustainable. The harm is not only to the environment but also to the fashion brands that bear the cost of these inefficiencies – whether by the loss of full-price sell-through, overproduction, or waste. Meanwhile, consumers demand that brands be more sustainable but at an affordable price point. This dilemma, alongside the complexity of the supply chain, leads to greenwashing. We need a complete, systemic redesign.
I decided to develop Weffan’s 3D woven garment technology to respond to the needs of fashion brands by holistically restructuring how we produce garments. 3D weaving garments reduce production steps, time, waste, and costs using existing loom infrastructure. Additionally, Weffan’s production method supports local manufacturing, lowering a garment’s carbon footprint and the risk of supply chain interruption by being closer to the consumer.
Something that really helped in getting my business of the ground is…The support from Innovate UK, the Young Innovators Programme, and Future Fashion Factory has been crucial to Weffan’s ability to R&D starting with 3D woven trousers, in partnership with leading researchers at the University of Leeds and UK manufacturers.
An area of business I’d like to gain more knowledge of is… I’m currently developing a range of 3D woven trousers, creating a catalogue of design templates of different trouser styles and materials. This will be used as a tool for fashion brands to implement a 3D woven production method into their supply chain. To reduce production time, waste, and cost, responding more accurately to their consumer in a more sustainable way.
As it’s in development, I am looking to gain more knowledge and perspective from fashion brands’ individual needs and how Weffan can specifically provide a solution. Anyone interested, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Three important qualities for an entrepreneur are… Ironically, I didn’t want to be an entrepreneur, I fell into it because the change I want to see in the world doesn’t exist. I see myself more as a systems thinker, problem solver and textile enthusiast. I would say curiosity and openness to experimentation are probably the most important qualities to have.
A UKFT Rise subscriber I find inspiring would be… I’m inspired by the company, iinouiiio. Solving issues around the circular economy is so important and they are doing a fantastic job.
Something happening in the industry that’s inspiring me right now is… To fix our greenwashing problem, the fashion industry needs standardised sustainable credentials. I’m inspired by Normative, a company providing science-based carbon accounting software and tailored advice from net zero experts, enabling companies to reduce their carbon footprints using standardised metrics. Normative can help fashion companies identify their problem area, giving them a quantifiable roadmap, and Weffan hopes to offer those same fashion companies a production method solution.
A change I’d like to see in the industry would be… I’d like garments to reflect their true costs. There needs to be regulation that prices in the negative environmental and social costs into the final price of a product. For example, only when you factor in resources like water, effects like pollution, or the cost of fair labour into the final price, can you understand the true cost of clothing. Once incentives and cost structures are re-aligned, zero-waste and circularity models would just be better business.