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Hope Freeman Sustainable Skin BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Realisation London College of Fashion 2013

Design Rationale

The fashion industry is based on a model of continual economic growth fuelled by ever-increasing consumption of resources. The unsustainability of this model is widely acknowledged. ( or-change)

The world is waking up to the environmental, social equity and economic problems created by ‘fast fashion’ and companies and consumers alike are looking for ways they can reduce their fashion carbon footprint. Significant progress has been made in addressing sustainability in fashion and most fashion companies, from high end to the high street are addressing the need for a change. Long gone are the days of unflattering and uncomfortable sustainable fashion. The fashionista of today can save the world, and look fabulous while doing it! The difficulty for most lies in the fact that there are no hard and fast rules on how to be sustainable in fashion. While one production route may utilize less water, it may also use more resources in transportation. A fabric made out of organic cotton and natural dyes may be more harmful to the environment than polyester to produce and transport, but may be easier to dispose of. As it will always take resources to produce commodities and while we may never be able to be completely sustainable, we can aim to stay educated, stay aware and strike a balance between sacrifice and indulgence. Even “Stella McCartney is not perfect – she is happy to acknowledge that there are bound to be contradictions in trying to work ethically, aesthetically and sustainably, especially when you are working in fashion.” (Sandy Black The sustainable Fashion Handbook. 2012)

According to a 2012 paper by Wrap, “Valuing our Clothes,” the majority of savings would result from actions which are consumer-led or involve both the consumer and businesses. For example, changing laundry habits is a significant area for carbon savings, while extending the active life of clothing offers the greatest savings overall: if existing clothes last longer, fewer new garments are needed. As a designer, I am inspired to address the sustainability in fashion by creating timeless clothes that the wearer will treasure for a lifetime rather than discard at the end of the season or collect dust in the back of a closet. Shunning trends, the collection looks in the past to the timeless art deco era for inspiration, incorporating classic silhouettes and colours that don’t go out of style. Made to last a lifetime, with high quality fair trade fabrics and considered construction, the garments are to the highest standard so that the wearer can cherish them for years to come.

Who’s that girl? She is effortless and confident, but no show off. She knows her self and her body. She is subtly sexy, feminine and capable. Dressing for her body type, she sticks to classic silhouettes with a twist of quirky nostalgia. She appreciates forward thinking, smart designs that are environmentally responsible. Her favourite labels are Orla Kiely, Burberry, The Row and Miu Miu. She is individual, always looking for that “special” piece. She loves things that serve multiple functions. She doesn’t follow trends and prefers to invest in quality clothing that she can wear for a many years. Constantly on the go, she has a busy lifestyle. With a high pressure creative job and an active social life, she wants to move from day to night with ease. She is 25-45 years old, lives in a city, and travels internationally often. She loves food but hates cooking- prefers dinning out with friends at “hidden gem” restaurants. She enjoys theatre and music. She loves her gadgets, constantly toting her camera and tablet with her on her travels.




A fashion piece cannot in itself create sustainability – this is created by the way in which we design, make, wear, discard and reincarnate it

Slow Fashion is not a seasonal trend that comes and goes like animal print, but a sustainable fashion movement that is gaining momentum .


TED's Ten: 1 – Design to Minimise Waste This strategy encourages designers to minimise the waste that is created in the textile industry, both pre and post consumer. It includes zero waste cutting and recycling but it also introduces the idea at the outset that we need to avoid producing stuff that doesnt work, that people dont want. “Of the total textile fibre produced, up to 65% is lost, post-consumer, to landfill, incineration or composting, which represents between 400,000 and 700,000 tonnes per annum in the UK. Of this, at least 50% is said to be recyclable” (Allwood, 2006) • Long-life textiles • Recycle and re use of materials • Re-working existing garments to produce up-cycled products • Design multi-functional products • Zero waste cutting • Using new technologies to ‘re-surface’ pre-consumer polyester 2 - Design for Recycling / Upcycling This strategy explains how when you design for recycling / upcycling, the thought process is very different, but totally connected to, the practice of recycling textiles. This strategy includes discussion of the polyester economy. Design for upcycling is about "not merely conserving the resources that went into the production of particular materials, but adding to the value embodied in them by the application of knowledge in the course of their recirculation" (Murray, 2002) • Designing for recycling/upcycling from the outset (pro-active approach) • Responding to existing garments/materials to Recycling/ Re-engineering a product/garment (reactive approach) • Upcycling – adding value through process or concept to existing garments/materials • Transfer printing onto polyester to produce up-cycled products • Closed-loop recycling (forward recycling) of post consumer polyester • Monomateriality • Borrowed materials • Design for disassembly 3 – Design to Reduce Chemical Impacts This strategy is about appropriate material selection and processes: consider using organically produced materials; use mechanical technology to create non-chemical decorative surface pattern; seek convincing alternatives to harmful chemical processes such as devore, chemical dyes, mordants etc. “One cupful of pesticides and fertilisers are used in the production of the average t-shirt” (Observer, 2005) • Consider using organically-produced materials • Use mechanical technology to create non-chemical decorative surface pattern, such as laser/water-jet/sonic cutting and laser/sonic welding • Seek convincing alternatives to harmful chemical processes such as devore, chemical dyes, mordants etc. • Consider natural dyes and their processes 4 – Design to Reduce Energy and Water Use Energy consumption and water usage in the textile industry are extremely high and occur at each stage of the lifecycle of textiles – at the production stage, in the use phase (where consumers use and care for textiles and garments) and at the end stage (which covers either disposal and/or re use of the material. “ 60% of the total energy consumption in the lifecycle of a t-shirt occurs in the use phase. i.e washing, ironing, drying ”(Allwood et al, 2006) • Innovative labelling to increase consumer knowledge about best laundry practices • Digital printing • Exhaust printing and dyeing • Design for No or Low launder/Short life textiles • Localisation • Prioritise natural energy systems • Dry patterning systems/Projected patterns • Design for recovery of energy 5 – Design that Explores Clean / Better Technologies Replacing systems of production with less energy consuming and smarter technologies to reduce environmental impacts. • Dematerialising e.g. using sonic welding instead of threads • Using new technologies like laser etching to ‘re-surface’ pre-consumer polyester

timeless silhouettes to take you through the decades

Do not tumble dry

Laundry accounts for around one-quarter of the carbon footprint of clothing. Washing clothes less often, washing at a lower temperature, using larger loads and tumble drying less in summertime could cut the footprint by 7%

design development

Technical Development

second toile

first toile

experimenting with interfacing and stabiliser to keep neckline corners sharp

final pattern


F ABRICS Viscose


Step Down Romper size range: 8-16 fabric: heavy organic cotton jersey

Step Down Dress size range: 8-16 fabric: heavy organic cotton jersey

Empire Dress size range: 8-16 fabric: Viscose & Silk Chiffon

Swimingly Swim Suit size range: 8-16 fabric: Lycra

Tassel Dress size range: 8-16 fabric: leather and organic cotton jersey

leather tassel dress body con jersey underdress

Tassel Dress size range: 8-16 fabric: leather and laser cut viscose

Final Garment

Hope Freeman  

London College of Fashion