I am a designer, maker and researcher, particularly fascinated with clothing. With my background in Fashion Design, my work is situated within the fields of Sustainable Design, Speculative Design and Design Communication. I seek to facilitate sustainable change by inspiring fellow designers and anyone interested in this field. My work should invite to create a future driven by equality, diversity and action.
I hope you enjoy looking through my work. Please feel free to contact me for questions, feedback or collaborations.
SEE YOU then,
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A DESIGNER TO ENGAGE ACTIVELY IN THE USE OF WASTE TEXTILES AND WHY IS IT RELEVANT IN 2020?
Material waste has been confronting me ever since I first started making clothes. Especially during the making process, there is waste of small off-cuts and threads that often just go right into the waste stream without reconsideration. In recent design work I explored ways to reuse fabric off-cuts by inserting pieces back in between two layers of the textile. This technique was able to minimise the textile waste at the production stage. The limitation of this technique was that there still were off-cuts of off-cuts. I also researched how to extend the life of clothing with several existing design techniques. Although there are many concepts and ideas on this subject, I had come to the conclusion that there was always going to be textile disposal. While this is a very frustrating realisation, I did not want to simply accept it and started researching and experimenting. In my research I was particularly interested in finding an engaging way to explore textile waste and reconsider the meaning of it, so that, in the long term, textile waste could be minimised.
A Fashion Fiction where textile waste becomes a valuable resource again.
My first artefact for this work is speculating about a future opportunity for collaborative engagement within the industry. This fiction was made in response to Amy Twigger Holroyds’ ‘Fashion Fictions’, which are mentioned in my research. All ‘Worlds’ are introduced with a ‘What if…’ question to the underlying idea, inspiration and issue. Since twenty worlds have already been published on her website, I was lucky enough to publish my ideas for a World 21.
WHAT IF TEXTILES COULD LEARN FROM PAPER?
Find the full text here: https://fashionfictions.org/2020/10/20/world-21/
I saw the opportunity for paper making to minimise textile waste very early on in my research. Experimentations on own terms helped me understand the technique and materiality better, but I ended up with a delicate material that was in no way improving the textile off-cuts I had shredded up before. In need for advice from an expert, I finally had the courage to call Drew Matott, Co-Founder of the Peacepaperproject which I introduce in my research. I was offered to visit his Studio where he was kind enough to introduce me to the real art of paper making. Thus it was possible to build on top of my self-study from earlier on this year. As I was allowed to use their paper making facilities, I experimented with several paper making techniques and different textile waste components.
The following artefacts result from encountering wasted textiles, from personal sewing projects. It is important to mention that all papers included in my work are made from textile scraps, while conventional paper is made from cellulose fibres from wood.
The Textile papers aim to communicate the textile waste issue and propose questions and ideas for sustainable change. Their aesthetic is used to create a moment to stop and think about our definition of waste, presenting preferable futures.
As no future can evolve without knowing what is present, my research focused on specific parts of textile waste, looking closer at preventions, causes, actions, results and the uses of it.
As part of my design research response I made a GIF which should express how many reasons there are behind the act of disposal. Different key moments are capturing the act with facial expressions and movement. For the image to start moving please scan the QR code or see the GIF below.
When I started this project, my aim was to reuse textile waste in an engaging way for myself and fellow designers. Soon, this project added so much more value and was not just a waste management technique anymore. I am finalising my Masters with fascination, new notions on raw, natural fibres and new ways to communicate my ideas with others. As the current understanding of our world seems to be shifting and turning towards more conscious ideas and approaches towards sustainability within the apparel industry, I am excited to see what is possible. My understanding of textile waste has changed, as I now see it as a valuable resource that has plenty of potential.
With new technologies a second or third use of textile waste can be achieved within the apparel system. Now it is to question what the next sensible step to take is. This depends on the fibre itself and therefore new studies need to explore how long a fibre should be reused before it becomes unsustainable. It is important to have a clear point, of when it is best to let a material biodegrade.
With intelligent fibre separation systems, the characteristics of each fibre could be used in a more resource saving way. An updated system for the apparel industry could benefit from more collaboration across borders, learning from other waste management systems. The consumers can be a part of this change by involving them in the process, making waste management more engaging and simple.
My research reaffirmed to me how important my role as a designer is to position myself within this topic. This project opened up paths for collaborations and new insights, which will keep feeding into my future projects. My work calls for action to involve retailers, companies, policymaker, and activists to collectively make a change.
Finally, my findings suggest patience and trust in the process of shifting to a less wasteful world.