Great to hear about other people’s work! Nick, I just read your latest chapter, and I really like the way you break down sustainable behavior. It’s very refreshing and understandable, and it reads well. Mike, can’t wait to be able to use the Sustainable Research Library – sounds like a great resource! Â I also like the shortened acronym ( :
To give some updates, I’m back home in California after having spent a couple months in Europe. In July, I was in Paris taking fashion design and construction classes and doing research, and after that I went to Sweden to WWOOF on an organic farm that raised sheep and cows. Two very contrasting experiences, two different frames from which to think about sustainability, one great opportunity to learn. Â Thanks so much to the Green Dorm for helping to fund my travel to Europe!
I really wanted to include photos in this post, but the upload is taking an eternity. Â Perhaps it’s just my computer? Â The message I keep getting is that the server is not authorized to upload the photos. Â Anybody know what might be going down? Â In any event, I will write…
The end goal of this project was to create a fashion design portfolio that summarizes my research on sustainable fashion techniques and what it means to have a sustainable philosophy as a fashion designer. Â After hours of thinking and sketching, I found that, while non-sustainable lines can be developed from nearly any idea (say you’re inspired by lions, you then create a collection devoted to that idea), the concept for a sustainable portfolio takes a lot more time to formulate because you need to consider the practical repercussions of manufacturing that fashion idea. Â I went through a number of ideas before arriving on anything final. Â At first, I was inspired by Maasai fashion from Africa, and envisioned a limited collection where Maasai communities would supply or design the fabrics for the clothes. Â This idea morphed into a “tribal hipster” line, which was farther-removed from these communities in Africa, but that used tribal styles and methods to increase interest in natural fibers and dyes in high-consuming, urban populations. Â It was in my last week in Paris, however, that I came upon my final idea, which was completely different and which specifically addressed urban populations. Â For this project, I am presenting a line of office wear that uses wasted or surplus office supplies (paper clips, staples, defected pencils, etc.) as fashion centerpieces. Â Any fabrics necessary for the clothing will be organically produced, and the general message, besides being a sustainable one, is that people should begin to take a more creative approach to their careers and work, starting with what they wear to the office.
I also want to make a shameless plug, as Mike would say, for a new student group called the Sustainable Fashion Collective. Â If you have any friends interested in fashion, tell them to keep their eyes open because we’re planning some cool stuff.