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Case Study

The New Era of Sustainable Luxury

July 05, 2023

How Stratasys 3DFashion™ Technology is Enabling Atelier des Refusés to Transform Textile Scraps into Show-Stopping Cushions

As consumer culture continues to shift away from cheap, mass-produced pieces and towards the embrace of quality, sustainability, and uniqueness, businesses across the textile landscape are increasingly feeling the pressure to find ways of elevating their offerings in each of these areas. For Atelier des Refusés, the solution was Stratasys’ 3DFashion technology, which has enabled the company to create a pioneering new range of visually and tactilely stunning eco-friendly 3D printed cushions. By utilizing discarded scrap fabrics from some of the finest textile companies across the globe and combining this with world-leading 3D printing technology, Atelier has been able to create a series of striking, never-before-seen designs – taking huge strides in bringing the intersection of quality, sustainability and innovation into reality for textile businesses today.

Atelier des Refusés is a forward-thinking company renowned for its exclusive decorative pillows, hand crafted in Milan. Inspired by Napoleon III’s Salon des Refusès and the beauty that was found in rejected paintings by artists such as Manet, Monet and Pissaro, the company sets itself apart by ingeniously repurposing industry waste from top international textile furnishing brands. By transforming high-quality offcuts, Atelier is able to create unique, luxury pieces that prevent waste and ultimately shift the dial in the mission for a circular economy.

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Born from architecturally-trained Carolina Nisivoccia’s quest to fashion designer scraps into eco-chic cushions, Atelier now exclusively crafts one-of-a-kind pieces, renowned for exuding character and imagination. The company’s work expertly weaves together several popular themes within the textile industry, from sustainable manufacturing to eco-conscious material sourcing – with the ultimate vision of evolving home décor into mesmerizing pieces of art, each bearing its own distinctive charm.

For the launch of its newest ‘Biodiversity’ collection – inspired by the world of mushrooms and the role they play within the terrestrial ecosystem – Atelier faced a unique paradoxical challenge, envisioning a visionary, unified and cohesive series of decorative cushions, but one in which no two pieces would be alike, celebrating the beauty of individuality. This meant creating exciting stand-out designs whereby the colors, patterns and geometries of each piece would be distinct, yet harmonized with others across the line. For this, they needed a solution that would deliver the design freedom to bring to life impactful, creative textures and aesthetics whilst also facilitating one-off customization.

More than this, however, with sustainability at the company’s core, it was integral to Atelier that any technologies that the company embraced as part of its product design and development would be aligned with the company’s commitments to reducing waste – as well as being able to integrate seamlessly with their hand-made production processes. 

The ‘Biodiversity’ collection


As the only 3D printing solution able to print directly onto textile, Stratasys’ J850™ TechStyle™, powered by the company’s 3DFashion platform, instantly captivated the attention of the Atelier team. The pioneering technology granted Atelier the power to 3D print directly onto the cushion fabric in up to 600,000 unique colors, varying transparencies and a range of different textures and finishes – enabling the creation of a range of stunning custom designs all unified by the striking 3D printed geometries. As Atelier explains, the unique visual and tactile effects, which brought the Biodiversity collection to life in vivid multicolor, would not have been possible with any other technology.

“With creativity and individuality in our company’s DNA, crafting a collection which both leveraged pioneering, cutting-edge technology and empowered us to create completely unique, never-before-seen designs was a particularly exciting concept,” comments Carolina Nisivoccia, Art Director, Atelier des Refusés. “When we were able to fully explore Stratasys’ 3DFashion technology, it was love at first sight. Not only were we able to combine different colors, textures and transparencies to create hugely impactful and striking end pieces, but by nature the 3D printing process meant we were able to minimize waste, which is a core value for us as a business.” 

Comprising 16 unique pieces, the eclectic Biodiversity collection both exemplifies the creative scope of Atelier’s high-quality, eco-friendly creations and the game-changing potential that new technologies such as direct-to-textile 3D printing deliver for the textile industry. Each cushion, meticulously crafted, was united across the series through the use of exquisite 3D printed embellishments, elevating the two-dimensional designs and transforming the customer experience. The result is an enchanting fusion of nature-inspired artistry and technological innovation, made possible with key partners such as Overmach.

Debuted during Milan Design Week 2023, Atelier is currently planning to make the exclusive, limited-edition cushions available for purchase, extending the reach of these revolutionary designs – and the pioneering technology behind them – to consumers market-wide. As testament to the creative edge, quality and ingenuity of the collection, Atelier des Refusés and the 3D printed Biodiversity cushions have also been selected by the prestigious, luxury Swiss watch manufacturer, Breitling, to be showcased at its brand-new flagship store in the center of Milan.

Atelier des Refusés to stay ahead of the curve


As the textile industry continues to evolve, so too does the pressure for designers to keep up with the latest trends and stay ahead of the curve – thrusting technologies such as 3D printing in the limelight as a means to transcend traditional textile manufacture and achieve true product differentiation.

Crucially however, direct-to-textile 3D printing also enables designers, brands and textile printers to maximize on key trends across the industry, ideally placed to deliver customization, as well as critical waste reductions when compared to traditional methods of embellishment, through the very nature of the technology.

For designers and creative professionals of the likes of Carolina Nisivoccia, the modern textile industry is an ever-challenging and competitive space to navigate and cutting-edge innovations such as Stratasys’ 3DFashion technology are breaking new ground in the industry, meaning that the creative possibilities are also greater than ever. By enabling to experiment with new textures, different levels of transparency and stunning visual effects such as pearlescence, the creative community is now able to completely transform what they can offer to their customers. “Collaborating with Stratasys on the Biodiversity collection has truly opened up an entirely new realm of design possibilities for us, and with revolutionary new technologies like this now changing how we can approach design challenges, there’s no doubt that we are on the precipice of a wider market transformation in the years ahead.”

Hear Carolina Nisivoccia, Art Director at Atelier des Refusés, talk about how they utilized Stratasys' 3DFashion technology to create a range of eco-friendly cushions from leftover pieces of luxury textiles.