How to reduce waste in the fashion design process?

The Three Rs of Fashion: How to Reduce Waste in the Fashion Design Process A group of students try to find the answer

The Three Rs of Fashion: How to Reduce Waste in the Fashion Design Process A group of students try to find the answer

Fashion is about telling stories through clothes, and when done responsibly, it becomes sustainable. In simple terms, it is the use of environmentally friendly practices in the design, manufacture, distribution and consumption of clothing.

Over the years, the fashion industry has outgrown its production. The amount of time a garment is worn before being thrown away has been reduced by 40%. Discarded clothes are either burned or thrown into landfills. About 12% of what is collected for recycling will end up being turned into insulation or cleaning cloth, or shredded and used to stuff mattresses. Less than 1% will be used to make new clothes.

The Cloakroom: symbol of what can be done with the waste.

The Cloakroom: symbol of what can be done with the waste.

Even when the pandemic hit the scene in 2020, this dire situation raised pertinent questions about our priorities and what we choose as fashion designers of the future. On the day of the founding of our college, we decided to showcase our responsible creativity. “The Changing Room”, as we have named the 25ft clothing installation, attempts to pose the topical question of need versus desire. We conceptualized, designed and created the huge garment with industry waste, while following the principles of eco-friendly fashion.

Our team also included the whole batch of the fifth semester of B.Des Fashion. We started by collecting clothing waste from the fashion design laboratory. The idea came from our mentor, Archana Surana, and took shape from the question of how to better manage the waste introduced specifically into the fashion education design process, in the form of patterns and patterns. test adjustments.

Recycle to create new

Trial fits accumulated over time were salvaged, garments separated and piles of muslin brought from the stash to usefully contribute to our creativity. From blouses to pants, shirts, tops and skirts, all tested cuts were used to shape the bodice.

Placing the waste garments was like putting together a puzzle, using the process to define the flow of the garment. What we liked the most was the way the skirt was used to cover the torso, giving it an old retro-Western look. After positioning the back and front of the setup, we sat down to sew the garment. The interior design students also helped with a proportionate wooden structure, as well as the hanging cables and chains to support the weight when we hung the finished work.

‘The Dressing Room’ hung on a corner of the highest point of the front facade of the college building for two weeks so the world could see how creativity is born from waste. Obviously, the use of clothing waste helps reduce reliance on natural resources and also minimizes the chances of fashion ending up in landfill. In these times of conscious consumption, a responsible way of operating, combined with the creativity of design, can help us have a new purpose to work towards a more sustainable fashion future.

The writers are fashion design students at Arch College of Design and Business

Abdul J. Gaspar