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Frances Smith


Frances Smith


"An innovative luxury collection of garments, utilising the concept of zero waste pattern cutting and garment construction methods to address the over consumption of textiles in fashion." Frances Smith 2014

_01 Inspiring ideas 6-9

Me Eco Rationale Aim _02 Who, What Why? 10-15

Market Clientele History _03 Eco


Sustainability Zero Waste The industry-over consumption _04 The Look 26-29

The design-impact on ‘the look’ Designers

_05 Creativity 30-35

Fabric Sourcing Patterns Moulage _05 The Journey 36-49

Thought process Design process Fabrics used Design Stages Consideration of initial designs _06 The END? 50-67

The Outcome Variations The future Branding _07 Referencing 68-73

Bibliography Image List Acknowledgements

_01 Inspiring ideas

Me Eco Rationale Aim


A womenswear designer using Creative pattern cutting and manipulation techniques to create beautifully crafted, interesting garments with the need to try something new and push personal boundaries, while making wearable garments desired by the modern woman.


Is it possible to create a luxurious zero waste collection? Eco fashion is slowly becoming more recognised but not always for the best reasons and the designs and fabrics used tend to be very narrow so I wanted to approach this problem from a new angle. I wanted to find luxurious organic fabrics rather than the standard organic cotton as well as finding new ways to minimise textile waste when making garments. The aim of approaching this is to see why so few people have attempted to push the boundaries within eco fashion.


'The development of an innovative luxury collection of garments, utilising the concept of zero waste pattern cutting and garment construction methods to address the over consumption of textiles in fashion.'


_02 Who, What, Why?

Clientele Luxury History



The collection is made to be diverse for females within the age range 25-40. They will be fashion forward while taking on other aspects of the eco lifestyle. She will look for quality in simplicity, buying for longevity with timeless style rather than following a trend. They will have access to the luxury market by shopping at places such as Harvey Nichols.

‘There has been a fundamental paradigm shift as we enter a new era of ethical consumption. Consumers are demanding to know more about how and where and in what conditions their clothes are made.’ (Black, 2008)



The market chosen is luxury, based on research undertaken, people that are most likely to buy clothes in the ethical market tend to have more disposable income, and as more luxury brands are taking into account the story behind the product, interest has grown in people taking on aspects of the ecofriendly lifestyle. The garments will be finished to the highest standard using methods to minimise or eradicate waste so there is no compromise with fabrics and finishes or with the concept itself, mainly using french seams, binding and pin hems. Luxury brands researched as competitors include Edun, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood due to the market and the ecofriendly nature of the companies.


Although these are methods in the phases of haute couture, they are all ones that can be transferred into the luxury market, so it is more accessible than that of haute couture but they are steps that would unlikely be able to be addressed within lower markets.



After undertaking a placement at a luxury designers, Maria Grachvogel, in London which specialises in simple, beautiful garments that are creatively cut and draped. Through this, my interest grew in how flat patterns can transform into 3D garments. In previous personal design work, I have looked a lot at using fabric manipulation and creative pattern cutting to create beautiful garments and to test my own boundaries to give shape, style and texture. This initially led me to the idea of using the waste fabric from patterns within fabric manipulation, which then expanded into zero waste as a whole and how it can be addressed. Through research this progressed more towards using the patterns differently and incorporating the different methods used within zero waste.


Maria Grachvogel A/W ‘13

Graduation Project initial Zero Waste line up


_03 Eco

Sustainability Zero Waste The industryover consumption



‘As with other social and political statements through commercial art, eco fashion is a reaction to social and ecological conditions’ (Brown, 2010)

Sustainability is a topic that has become a lot more common in all aspects of people's lives, whether it is something as simple as recycling cardboard and plastics or choosing to walk somewhere instead of driving. However, it is a newer prospect within the fashion industry and has only narrowly been explored. Sandy Black (2008) states that to address sustainability, we must 'Maximise product life through classic design and durable construction; Eliminate or minimise the use of man made fibres; Minimise load on landfills' use recycled and biodegradable materials; Encourage sustainable agriculture and farming; Work with businesses that share our ethical and environmental goals; Influence the fashion industry.' Through this project, I hope to address some, if not all of these.


There are so many problems to be addressed within sustainable design, that I felt only some areas could be looked into at this point. Initially finding organic fabrics that are luxurious, secondly, minimising the textile waste while designing garments that will be timeless so people are less likely to throw them away.


“So what is sustainable design? In clothing, it means sourcing and production that do not pollute through the process of manufacture and do not deplete nonrenewable sources, whether those are planetary or human. It refers to clothing that can be absorbed back into the environment when it has reached the end of its life. Very few products, let alone garments fulfil the concept of sustainability in its entirety.� (Brown, 2010)


ZERO WASTE Reduce. Reuse. Recycle

There are three key ways to manufacture a zero waste garment: Flat pattern, moulage and Knitting. Flat pattern: Using jigsaw style patterns that slot together using the width and the length of the fabric. This is a very precise and mathematical method.

Moulage: by using the full length and width of the fabric to drape around the body to create a garment.

Knitting: By knitting the fabric, you only knit what is needed rather than cutting and sewing as in the other methods.

The methods I chose to use were the flat patterns and the moulage as I do not have the skills or knowledge for knitting and by looking at both of these other methods, it opens up options for the shapes and styles to see what works the best for the brief.


Holly McQuillan - Jigsaw Pattern

Timo Rissanen - Subtraction Cutting

Personal moulage research



Zero waste is a relatively new concept as the realisation that landfills are rapidly overflowing is becoming more apparent, although there are aspects of the concept around zero waste within history. Historic garments from Ancient Greece such as the chiton and the himation, as well as the Kimono from Japan and Sari from India are just a few, all of these use the full amount of fabric, whether using a pattern, draping across the body or having fabric woven specifically for the pattern of the garment. Some of these garments can influence the starting point in how to approach both the flat patterns fitting together or in moulage. Although I would not be able to get fabric woven specifically for a pattern, it would be possible to source the various widths of fabric available while laying basic patterns on to these and working from there. Similarly by using these varying lengths and widths, moulage can be experimented with to see how this effects a garment.







Over consumption within the fashion industry is a massive problem in itself as people buy more and more clothes that are cheaply made as trends change regularly, which means there is a large amount of textile waste being disposed of, adding to the landfills around the world. As well as this, 'The industry norm is 15 per cent textile waste generated through production; that is 15 per cent of all textiles purchased for garment production are destined for the bin, resulting in loss of profit for the manufacturer, but also enormous quantities of textile waste destined for landfill.' (Brown, 2010) So for every garment cut out, a large amount of fabric is wasted, sometimes this is because of not fitting the patterns together as close as possible onto the fabric or miscalculation when buying it or that the patterns are all odd shapes with different grain lines. Either way, thought doesn't go into how it can be used in other ways or passed on. By designing a collection that does not typically sit into a trend and will be bought for its constant style, means that the garments will be repeatedly worn and will not be thrown away with a fast turn around of normal trends. Also, the aim is to make garments using simple but creative patterns so that all of the fabric is used, and where possible, if un-picked, could be reused again so the fabric is used to its maximum life.


‘The total amount of clothing and textile waste arising per year in the UK is approximately 2.35 million tonnes. This is the equivalent to nearly 40kg per person per year, a figure that includes waste from industry and domestic sources.’ (Fletcher, 2008)


_04 The Look

The designimpact Designers



By minimising the waste created in the manufacturing of a garment at the design stage means that less textiles end up in landfills but it also saves money for the designer as all the fabric paid for is used within the designs, which can then be sold, rather than throwing away fabric, whether it is an organic fabric or an alternative. Using all of the fabric in one pattern or one garment means that there is a lot of fabric in use so the design and the fabrics chosen will change the impact and look of each garment. The use of pleats, fold and darts can change the way it fits, a heavier fabric can create structure and a lighter weight fabric will fall into a soft drape, completely changing a single look. It can also be dramatically changed by just choosing a different length or width of fabric. I have had to take into account how the designs will be finished and chose not to line them as I wanted them to be as neat inside as outside, using finishes that minimise or has no waste. Also, due to the way the patterns and garments are created, it would not be possible to line them with no waste. All of this is taken into account and can be used to vary ideas in the future, but it is also vital as some eco or zero waste garments are not desirable as the tend to be limited on the shape, fit and style so I need to address these problems and keep the garments at the highest quality.


DESIGNERS In the past, designers such as Vionnet and Vivienne Westwood both have incorporated zero waste methods within their designs, mainly in the form of moulage, but also some patterns that have minimal waste, if any at all. Vivienne Westwood has approached various eco methods over the years but not usually combining them, whereas Vionnet tended to use the methods of draping to create beautiful, flowing garments, as this was the best way for her gowns. More commonly, designers are using new ways of pattern cutting to get the maximum use of the fabric and creating very little waste, if any at all. These include designers such as Holly McQuillan and Mark Liu. The technique commonly used by these is called the 'jigsaw pattern', where the pattern is broken down and adapted so that all of the pieces slot together perfectly, like a jigsaw. Timo Rissanen uses a method called 'subtraction cutting which is a form of cutting, slashing and inserting fabric from other parts taken out of the fabric. This is very much trial and error and possibly not the method I should use if fabric is wasted by being cut into and then not necessarily used.

Mark Liu



As well as looking at designers that use zero waste methods, it is important that I looked at current designers that have use similar methods such as folding and draping techniques. Some of these include Vionnet, Erdem, Issey Miyake, Yeolee Teng and Valentino. I have managed to get initial ideas of shapes through these and looking at trends for Spring/Summer '15.


_04 Creativity

Fabric Sourcing Patterns Moulage



There is the need to source fabric before designing when making zero waste garments so that you know the width and length measurements, whether it is for a flat pattern or moulage, as it determines the length, volume and shape of any garment. The fabric sourcing needs to be an integral part of the design process in this case to influence these areas of the garment. I wanted to use organic fabrics to show there are luxurious organic fabrics, but also to take into consideration the full life of the garments, by being safe to the environment at the beginning as well as at the end. Originally I wanted to used just undyed fabrics so that there is minimal impact from chemicals too but due to the look, I chose to bring in black, low impact dyed, fabrics for a simple but bold statement within the collection, that would enhance the 'look'.



The initial research involved in the zero waste patterns started with basic blocks, initially I looked into the program 'Optitex', which gives you the option to view a garment in 3D form based on the flat pattern you have designed. This could be a very useful form of software as it eliminates the toile stage and you can view what the wastage would be from each pattern. However, the software is very expensive and requires being taught how to use it, so not many people would have access to this. The next option was to look at Assyst or hand rendered patterns that could be laid out together and then adapted. Unfortunately, this doesn't eradicate the toiling stage, but by using the basic blocks and only adapting them slightly, it gives the opportunity to change the look of the garment using moulage as well. Jigsaw style patterns can vary in how many pieces fit together and it can sometimes be in the form of a repetitive shapes or normal patterns that are slightly adapted. Based on my current knowledge, working with the basic patterns was the best place to start to see what outcomes came from that, as well as using basic shapes because then patterns can be adapted further.


‘When you next design or make a garment, examine the fabric. Try to see how the garment you want to create could use all of it. What is the relationship between the width of the fabric and the garment? If you have the pattern, see where the largest gaps or “waste” occur between the pieces. How can you adjust the pattern to incorporate these gaps into the garment? Be open and creative’ Hethorn & Ulasewicz, 2008



Moulage is a way to use a full amount of fabric that can be manipulated to fit the body or left to fall, Looking at ways to drape the fabric around the body and how it can be attached is a way to experiment with shapes. Various interesting shapes can be made from doing this by wrapping, overlapping and making tucks and darts. Depending on the fabric used, it can have a completely different effect, creating stiff shapes with heavier fabrics, or soft, feminine garments with lightweight fabrics. Moulage can be done and a flat pattern created afterwards, but by using this method, it opens opportunities for styles and shapes that cannot be found by just using flat patterns from the beginning. By combining the flat patterns with the moulage, it shows the diversity but the importance of both within the zero waste garment construction.



_05 The Journey

Thought process Design process Fabrics used Design Stages Consideration of initial designs



Initial thought before project started: Use the off cuts of fabric to manipulate

After basic research: Experimented with flat patterns using basic blocks

Looked at fabrics available as to see what widths and lengths worked

Combined flat patterns with moulage to get more interesting shapes and better fitting

Initially looked at just undyed fabrics, then low impact dyed black

Garments need to be unlined because of how the patterns and garments are created




The design process varies slightly when designing a zero waste collection. Instead of sourcing fabric after initial designs and the pattern cutting stage, it all needs to coincide due to the patterns influencing the designs themselves. It is a combination of trial and error and of maths that creates the developed garments and I had to teach myself the methods to understand how I could develop ideas and get to finished outcomes. As it was something I have not tried before, particularly with the patterns, I had to go against the typical design process.


Zero Waste

"If the concept of parallel lines of thought were applied within the fashion design and production process a designer would be able to design, plan and create a new garment in tandem with the integration of sustainable strategies." Gwilt & Rissanen, 2011



From looking at a wide variety of organic fabrics that I could get access to, I narrowed it down to the options with the best widths available so that there was room for development. The initial fabrics did have to be changed due to availability at the time, as organic fabrics tend to be seasonal as to when they can be grown and woven so you have plan ahead or buy once you get the initial sample. This did cause a few problems but similar alternatives were found which only made slight adaptations to the patterns, or changed by using the black fabrics. By using organic fabrics, it also means that all the fabric is not consistently the same and there are some natural slubs in the fabric and change in colour, but to work around this, I have used these areas in the garment that would be less obviously seen. I had to buy most of the fabrics through online sources as there was very few, if any, places that sold organic fabrics in store, The only place I found was 'The Cloth House'.


Bamboo Four types of bamboo were used, two of which were bamboo silk. Bamboo is one of the more luxurious feeling organic fabrics, the silks in particular being very soft. One of the bamboo silks I had in black and white and this is very light which draped well and another mid weight one which held a bit more structure in white. A bamboo drape was used for one of the dresses and the trousers, this has slightly loose fibres which felt soft to the touch and make the garments very comfortable wear. The final black one had a looser weave and I used this in double layer as it worked as a lining too on the shorts. I chose to use bamboo because I could get access to the different types and weights, and the varying colour of black using the low impact dyes, but also as it is not as common a fabric like cotton. The different weights also worked well for the different garments I chose to use them for.

Cotton Cotton sateen is a relatively soft fabric and I used three variations of this too. A heavier weight black one which creates more structure, a mid weight white and a lighter weight white which has been used for some shorts and tops and it is soft against the skin.. Organic cotton is the easiest organic fabric to get hold of but doesn't always feel as soft, so I chose the sateen as it felt much better.

Linen The linen is mid weight that I used just for the jacket to give structure and shape. It worked quite well but I don't think it would have been appropriate for other pieces.



Flat Patterns Looking at lay plans of how basic blocks can fit together and what shapes can fit together repeatedly was an initial part of the design stages to see which shapes could be incorporated or which basic blocks could be adapted effectively.

After looking at which patterns worked I tried to fit them together in basic jigsaw patterns. For these, the concept worked well but it could only be determined on fit and the final shape once toiles which was an area I wanted to avoid because of waste but it is a necessity at this point.


This pattern worked the best for an initial block for a t shirt and shorts set but from the toiles shown on the stand, it had to be adapted slightly so that tucks were put into the shorts to make them fit better with the waistband. Using the shorts pattern, I adapted it slightly using a basic trouser block to make the trousers, both having a wrap around effect so that the whole fabric is used. The idea is that the crotch is sewn together and each pattern piece then wraps around a leg each. The outcome of this has an interesting effect and makes the garment have more room and comfort.


Moulage From using full amounts of fabric as one or split into panels, I folded, wrapped, gathered and draped to create various shapes. I wasn't sure what the outcome of some of these would be although I had looked and moulage techniques and at garments that had similar aspects that would be created from these methods for inspiration and these were developed.


I found that by using moulage, I managed to get more interesting shapes that could be adapted and developed, and even using the shapes I did find, these could be adapted more, while also getting whole new possible outcomes.


By combining both moulage and flat patterns within the collection, it shows the possibility of zero waste methods but also doesn't restrict them entirely so that the length, fit and silhouette can all be varied.



Due to the nature of how the patterns are created, it is not as simple as shortening a garment or lengthening it, it is restricted by the size of the original fabric so when making changes, I changed some garments entirely, two dresses and one of the tops, so that they would fit in better with the collection. I did add on strips of black that were the same widths as some of the white fabrics to vary the length.


Dress does not work within collection as well

Shape and fitting worked quite well for both

A couple of garments didn't fit in as well to the collection so the ideas of changing these based on patterns and moulage for other garments.


Sleeves shape needed changing, also effects neckline of the other top

Top too basic and maybe swapped with another top with the shorts

Too much white, want to keep fabrics as organic so Looked at incorporating low impact black dyed fabrics.


_06 The END?

The Outcome Variations The future Branding


The final outcome consisted of 14 interchangeable garments in 8 looks made from black and white organic fabrics. The only waste from all of these were the cut outs from the rise of three pairs of shorts and a pair of trousers. This could possibly have been incorporated into jet or patch pockets but I did not feel they would have been appropriate for the style of these garments or where they would have had to be positioned.





















At the end of this project, I have discovered that it is possible to minimise waste, if not eradicate it entirely but it puts a lot of boundaries on to the garments such as fit, style and length in particular. I feel like there is still more development that I could explore, particularly the flat patterns and if I use fabrics that are non-organic, it could make the collection become something completely different as there will be more widths of fabrics available which changes into something completely new.



I could have used other fabrics or colour that were not organically thought through which could aim the collection towards a specific season or trend. Due to the nature of the collection and how it falls, the fabric choices would change the whole look of the garment, soft fabrics such as chiffon would make the same garments look feminine and would flow, whereas a stiffer dupion would give the shape more structure. I think a print would work well with this collection as the garments are relatively simple with shape and the way they drape and would add more detail as well as looking interesting with the different ways the fabric would fall.



When branding the collection, I have tried to keep the theme going by using a rectangle around the logo as it reflects how the fabric starts off as a flat pattern.

Choosing to call the collection ZeroW was for the simplicity within zero waste. It is short and sums up the collection and what it is about in one word.


I have also used recycled card for my swing tags, as well as There being the option of having my business cards printed on recycled card, however it does limit the options of the finish which I chose not to do at this point for the professional look and feel.



In the future the patterns could be adapted more and with other variations from the initial design stages, they could be explored further. As well as this, the experimentation of fabrics and colours could enhance the garments further as it would still limit textile waste by using the creative pattern cutting techniques but give more opportunities to the lengths and widths of the fabrics. This is a project that could be carried forward in many ways and opens up career opportunities within creative pattern cutting as well as the sustainable aspect.


FS ZeroW Fashion is about designing, producing, consuming and living better." Fletcher 2008


_06 References

Bibliography Image List Acknowledgements



Aitken, S. (2011, September 1). The Concept of Zero-Waste Apparel Design. Retrieved January 3, 2014, from Sally Aitken Exploring the World of Sustainable Fashion!: http://www. Angel, S. (2013, February 20). Sustainable fashion needs to be design-led. Retrieved January 15, 2014, from The Guardian: Black, S. (2008). Eco-Chic The Fashion Paradox. London: Black Dog Publishing. Brown, S. (2010). Eco Fashion. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd. Burkes, S. (2008). Fashion Entrepreneurship- Starting your own fashion business. Burke Publishing. Dickson, M. A., Locker, S., & Eckman, M. (2009). Social Responsibility in the global Apparel Industry. New York: Fairchild Books. Ethical Fashion Forum. (2011). The Market for Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Products - Briefing report 2011. Ethical Fashion Forum. Fletcher, K. (2008). Sustainable Fashion & Textiles: Design Journeys. London: Earthscan. Forum, E. F. (2013, May 8). MARKET & SALES REPORT, 2012. Retrieved Feb 12, 2014, from Ethical Fashion Forum: http:// Gwilt, A., & Rissanen, T. (2011). Shaping Sustainable Fashion: Changing the way we make and use clothes. London: Earthscan. Hethorn, J., & Ulasewicz, C. (2008). Sustainable Fashion: Why now? A conversation about issues, practices and possibilities. New York: Fairchild Books Inc. Jobling, A. (2013). Designing Sustainability: targeting waste in fashion. WGSN. Jobling, A. (2013). Social Responsibility: do consumers care? WGSN.


Jobling, A. (2013). Sustainability: What you need to know. WGSN. Key Note Ltd. (2013). Green & Ethical Consumer 2013 - Fashion & Beauty. Richmond Upon Thames: Key Note Ltd. Mintel. (2009). Ethical Clothing - UK - February 2009 Market Value and Forecast. Mintel Group Ltd. Mintel. (2013). Making Fashion More Transparent. Mintel Group Ltd. Ricchetti, M., & Frisa, M. L. (2012). The Beautiful and the Good: Reasons for Sustainable Fashion. Venice: Marsilio Editori Spa. The Co Operative Group. (2012). Ethical Consumer Market Report. The Co Operative Group. Vogue. (n.d.). Turning Points - Eco Fashion. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from Voguepedia: voguepedia/Eco_Fashion WGSN Newsteam. (December 2013). Consumers aged 18-30 consider social issues before buying products - Survey. WGSN.



Jess Clarke - JRC


Frances Smith Google Images WGSN Style.Com Pinterest



Frances Smith ZeroW

In collaboration with:

Sheffield Hallam University Suzie Shone Jess Clarke at JRC Photography Portland Works Studio Pinders Sheffield




A reflective report researching and logging the progress of the development of an innovative luxury collection utilising the concept of zero...


A reflective report researching and logging the progress of the development of an innovative luxury collection utilising the concept of zero...