Every day is Earth Day at Aplat. A Culinary Design Collection, of thoughtful zero waste design for sharing food and wine. Our mission is to reduce waste in your kitchen, home, and on the go. Changing the way we live at home and changing the way our industry manufactures.
Founder Shujan Bertrand uses the art of origami principles and the golden ratio to inform and inspire new ways to design without waste. Committed to a circular design process, Shu’s mission is to reduce pre-consumer waste in local cut-sew factories, to create products that are plastic-free, elastic-free, and metal-free. 100% organic cotton upcycled and 100% biodegradable.
The best part of the Aplat Studio is the location. We are just off 3rd street in Bayview, San Francisco, and across the street is one of three of our local cut-sew factories. It’s always sunny in Bayview, so our studio gets excellent light all day for great in-studio photoshoots.
We have a simple test kitchen for chefs and culinary partners to share recipes and collaborative photos. For prototyping, I have three sewing machines but will soon fill out to be six machines to run small batch production in-house. It’s an open space, but we make it work.
For private meetings, I use the “zoom-booth,” a tiny enclave that we built during pandemic lock-down with sound insulation and plexiglass walls. The kids had online in there for most of 2020, and now it’s great for focus work.
Because our factories are so close by, I can afford to oversee daily our small-batch production, ensuring that each cut is calculated and moved forward or upcycled for new products or textile fibers. We also have many co-branding business partnerships for special occasions or custom made-to-order designs. Our upcycled category is my favorite collection in the line, where I can explore and be creative with limited edition products like our pet line and origami masks.
I love my sewing machines. I’m an individual designer, and before launching Aplat, I worked on technology and design innovation for over 25 years, so my go-to tools were CAD, Adobe Suite, and a paper sketch pad. But now, at Aplat, my go-to tools are Adobe suite and sewing machines.
Each machine has an origin story. The first sewing machine I acquired was from a retired denim company. The second came from a good friend who designed leather bags—the third from LimeLab. The last two are moving in soon from the factory across the street; an industrial serger and bartack machine. With these machines, we can produce the Aplat collection, but we have our factories to produce the larger volumes.
The in-studio machines are for rapid prototyping, samples, and new design collaborations on zero-waste design and manufacturing in San Francisco.
Aplat products are made with 100% organic cotton duck and upcycled denim – green/earth-friendly, zero-VOC, non-toxic, organic, sustainable, locally sourced, and always the highest quality up-cycled off-cuts like raw denim and leather. I use origami to engineer products, so we don’t have to use any plastic, elastic or hardware (no zippers, buttons, clips or synthetic trims). Eliminating anything that is synthetic and does not biodegrade with the cotton.