Can textile waste be eliminated from the Fashion Industry?
The fashion industry is one of the main causes of textiles waste in the world. Designers and brands are becoming much more aware of this factor and have in turn become more conscious when designing their collection from the cut, silhouetted to the fabric and dyes that they use. ‘Zero waste designs’ are becoming a much more popular option because of their elimination of textile waste and the innovative use of patterns and silhouettes.
The British designer Christopher Raeburn became known for his re appropriation of military fabrics and his iconic outerwear pieces created from de commissioned parachutes. His ‘re made’ ethos still guides and influences every aspect of his design process. His pioneering work has brought sustainable design to main stream fashion whilst still presenting a definition of luxury with integrity. I love Raeburn’s outlook on sustainable fashion, the idea of giving new life to old things, and working with fabrics that you wouldn’t always be able to buy on a roll – it makes designing and creating garments exciting and much more experimental whilst also challenging and pushing your design aesthetic and creativity.
“Remade is about completely deconstructing and then reworking an original garment. I started out working in this way, using upcycled fabrics, with my graduate collection almost seven years ago. At the time, very few people understood the idea of remaking things completely, but it totally fascinated me, and continues to. Taking an oversized, badly cut and not particularly flattering menswear military garment and completely reworking it into a womenswear bomber jacket excites me.” Christopher Raeburn, Another Interview
Adopting a zero waste approach appears to be the best way to reduce textile waste and the demand for natural resources, as currently fifteen percent of textiles currently end up on the cutting room floor although the process takes time and effort to produce designs that produced no waste. The fact that there is a possibility that designs and silhouettes will become simpler meaning more draping and knitting would most likely have to be used to make a design more interesting.
Zero Waste fashion to me feels like a step in the right direction for the fashion industry but only if designers as well as retailers start adopting the different techniques needed to stop producing wastage. The only factor that seems to be stopping zero waste becoming widespread is the extra time and effort needed to be inventive and experimental throughout the whole design process.
Would love to hear all your thoughts on zero waste fashion and other innovative ways designers can reduce waste and excess pollution without losing their design aesthetic.