Fashion without Trash

The fashion industry is the poster child for un-sustainable practices, as we’ve already seen from the myriad of social and environmental problems plaguing the cotton trade. Fashion designers share the responsibility, because they are so remote from the means of production – usually outsourced to Southeast Asia, Africa or South America – that their designs reflect few of the practical concerns on the factory floor. Parsons’ Timo Rissanen is the proponent for a new form of sustainable fashion design: a “no-waste approach” that avoids altogether the 15% waste typical of the industry (read his paper here). Timo’s no-waste designs (above and below) show the creative potential of eliminating waste as part of the fashion design process. At heart is a humbling realization: “Fabric ought to be considered a precious resource once again.” Timeless designs like these only strengthen his argument.

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