The future of sustainability will be in simplifying objects and processes to reduce material waste. As such, my intention is to make garments from one process, which would reduce the material waste and carbon footprint of a product. The objective of this project is to challenge and resolve issues concerning sustainability and manufacturing within the textile industry. I propose to do this by changing the way fabric and fashion are manufactured and fuse the two processes into one by utilising current technologies and a new approach to production.
Globalisation has become an unstoppable force, however, sustainability has a cultural perception of being a niche and a local market. My intention is to address these issues within the fashion and textile industry by developing sustainable and ethical products, which can be mass-produced.
During my Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art I have been constructing complete garments through weaving, which do not require any further construction processes once woven, meaning sewing is not necessary. Once off the loom the garment is cut from the fabric and turned inside out leaving minimal waste. The garments are shaped through weave structure and material choice. The yarns should be synthetic so that the fabric can be cut with heat, ultimately bonding the threads together in order to stop the fabric from fraying.
These projects require equipment and materials already used in industry. I propose a new approach to designing for, and manufacturing with, these existing technologies. Specifically single repeat jacquard looms and synthetic yarns. Although this is standard equipment, most mills are reluctant to try news things at the expense of consistent efficiency, but not all mills. I did a residency with TextielLab in Tilburg, Netherlands. Their aim is to inspire and innovate within textiles, allowing projects like this to happen.
This is significant because it removes many manufacturing processes from the supply chain, for example: sewing, fashion garment development and finishing, which is done by merging two separate manufacturing industries into one. In addition, this methodology would reduce shipping between disparate links in the supply chain, thus reducing the carbon footprint of a product. As costs would be saved on shipping and garment construction, the industry could reinvest its resources. For example: in training highly skilled employees, spending more time on research and development for materials and design.
I have created an approach that takes two separate manufacturing industries, by constructing cloth and garment as one. This challenges cultural perspectives on sustainability and mass production, making sustainable manufacturing truly impactful. It is not suggesting a radical change of equipment or materials, but simply a more considered way of designing and making. This project improves the fashion and textiles industry by reducing material waste and the shipment of goods. I am proposing to weave and design in an intellectual manner addressing sustainability in fashion and textiles.