You wear organic T-shirts. You hang your clothes to dry and recycle your unloved suits and dresses. But frankly, that’s just the tip of the green iceberg. Today’s truly fashion-forward have a more radical ambition: zero waste.
That may sound more like an indie band than an environmental aspiration, but it’s a new focus of top fashion institutions. Although fashion, by definition, translates into innovation and change, the progress towards developing more sustainable forms of manufacturing, in this sector, is still lagging behind. In theory, the need to develop a more sustainable and positive fashion landscape is clear.
Zero-waste design strives to create clothing patterns that leave not so much as a scrap of fabric on the cutting room floor. This is not some wacky avant-garde exercise; it’s a way to eliminate millions of tons of garbage a year.
Apparel industry professionals say that about 15 to 20 percent of the fabric used to produce clothing winds up in the nation’s landfills because it’s cheaper to dump the scraps than to recycle them.
One of the most pressing matters in resulting from the production and consumption of fashion products is the ‘textile waste’. Our growing demand for ‘fast fashion’ has resulted in tonnes of discarded textile, threatening environmental and social well-being on a global scale. In the UK alone, households bin 300,000 tonnes of clothing each year.
The Pioneers In The Industry
Luckily enough, more entrepreneurs and designers operating in the fashion segment are searching for new solutions that could change the way consumers think about textile waste.
These pioneers are revolutionizing the way production and consumption of fashion products are perceived while shedding more light on the vast potential the circular fashion has in apparel design and thus, on the industry.
A small but impassioned coterie of designers has spent the last few years quietly experimenting with innovative design techniques, and some of their ideas are starting to penetrate the mainstream.
Seeking to change the fashion industry’s norms and more away from wasteful consumption practices, Zero Waste Daniel has become the first ‘zero-waste’ line of clothing that reinvents fabrics by re-imagining design.
Almost everything they do is handmade and of high quality. They convert hundreds of thousands of waste fabrics to a modest and cute clothing. The goal of zero waste is to create jeans that are as close to zero waste as possible but that are also good-looking.
One way to eliminate waste is to create a garment pattern with gussets, pockets, collars and trims that fits together like a puzzle. Such designers favor certain cutting techniques with names like the “jigsaw cut” and “subtraction cutting” Another method is to simply not cut the fabric at all, but drape it directly onto a mannequin, then tuck, layer and sew.
In some ways, zero waste is not new. Throughout history, consumers have had to adopt similar practices, such as rationing during wars, when women fashioned new outfits from old ones. Also, classic hobbies, like knitting and quilting, can be zero-waste endeavors.
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