Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Zero Waste

I have been exploring the concept of designing and recycling garments with the idea of zero waste.
A good example of a designer that has achieved this is Mark Liu, who managed to create a collection of zero-fabric-waste garments. The garment cut and print dictates the pattern cutting of the garment, whilst the print he designed also prevents the edges that are cut from fraying. An example is a strapless dress which requires 10 intricately cut pattern pieces, but wastes none of the fabric required to make it.

Dress by Mark Liu.

Another designer that works in a similar way is Zandra Rhodes, whose textile prints heavily inform her garment shapes. For example, her print 'Chinese Squares' is engineered to fit the fabric width. The garment is then designed according to that specific width, so it uses the full fabric width with the exception of the selvedges. For this garment to be completely waste free, it would have to have the selvedges incorporated somehow. These could be used internally to stabilize armholes or other garment parts, or it could be used on the hem or the facing as an edge finish.

What about customisation/recycling of clothes using the zero waste concept? Can we apply this to second life garments, so we are not adding to the huge amount of clothing waste already in existence? It makes sense when giving a garment a second life to try and minimise waste and pollution as much as possible, to make the second life of the garment as sustainable as possible.