The purpose of this document is to do research regarding fabric waste within the fashion industry and how this problem is affecting the people and the environment they are living in.
Statistics have shown that fabric waste is a big problem not only to people, but the environments where there are landfills full of waste martials and used clothing.As a designer I will be looking into possible solutions for this problems and ways on how we can reduce fabric waste. I will be focusing my research on zero-waste design and how this will benefit the problem further on in the future.
I will also look at how I can reuse second hand clothing with zer-waste design.LIST OF FIGURES:INTRODUCTION:The fashion industry has been part of everybody’s lives since the day it started. Everyone must wear clothes and the accessories that comes with it.
(“Redressing Wrongs: Fashion with a Conscience”, 2017) What makes this industry so negative is the way it influences the people and the environment, the amount of fabric waste that comes with this industry is so big that it is second to the oil industry of polluting our environments. (“Redressing Wrongs: Fashion with a Conscience”, 2017)The reason these waste fabrics are negative for our environment is because these fabrics release methane, this is a harmful greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming. (“Textile Waste: Why Isn’t It Banned From Landfills?”, 2003) This is not the only chemical that poisons the environment, with this chemical comes dyes used to color fabrics and other chemicals that is used to make these fabrics.
These chemicals become part of our soil and the water we use every day. (“Textile Waste: Why Isn’t It Banned From Landfills?”, 2003)Landfills are full of these fabrics; some landfills are so full that there is no more space to throw these fabrics away. That way people make more landfills to make space for all these fabrics.
(“Textile Waste: Why Isn’t It Banned From Landfills?”, 2003) In order for us to reduce fabric waste we need to get an idea of where this all started and why it started and how we can make a difference in the fashion industry towards this problem.We need to reduce the waste of fabric and make a positive impact on the environment not only for the industry, but for the consumers that support this industry day by day. (PETERS, 2016) We need to investigate more solutions and ideas by doing research and experiments on how we can reduce the waste of fabric. (PETERS, 2016)FABRIC WASTE WITHIN THE FASHION INDUSTRY:Looking back to where the fashion industry was and where it is now, clothing is being produce much faster than it was produced a few years back. (LaBar, 1990) The fashion industry is a fast working industry, there are new trends and styles almost every week. (LaBar, 1990) Because clothing is produced so fast and in such a big mass at a time, we have the problem of fabric waste, which is polluting our environment.
With the amount of materials wasted we are running out of space to keep all these waste materials. (LaBar, 1990)Businesses and brands only focus on the making of garments, they don’t realize how much damage they are causing for the environment. Our landfills are so packed that there will not be enough space for all the waste to be dumped there in only a few years.
(LaBar, 1990)With this said we can’t focus on our environment, because we need to focus on where we can make more space to put all these fabric waste, we are thinking about how much fabric waste there is and what we can do with it. (LaBar, 1990) The waste is seen as someone else’s problem and not our problem as well.We would rather discard our garments than repair them or use them for something else, because of fast fashion, where there are so many new trends and clothing every week, people started to see the disposal of garments as a modern thing and that it is necessary to by new clothes as soon as possible. (Fletcher, 2015) The fashion industry is working towards commands of consumption and the independent values, brands are more focused on what they can archive alone and how they can over power other brands. (Fletcher, 2015)For these brands to supply clothes so fast and so many clothes at a time, they had to make the production of clothing cheaper and more affordable, but they sell these clothing pieces at a higher price. (Fletcher, 2015) They now would measure their success within this industry on retail figures and the shapes we dress, as well as, what the public expects of them, but the term of creating fashion has been forgotten through this whole process.
(Fletcher, 2015)When look the statistics of the waste of fabric we will see that it takes more than 5000 gallons of water to produce a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. (HILL, 2017) From the fabric that is intended to be used for the making of clothing ends up on the cutting floor, this would be 15% of those fabrics. (HILL, 2017)WHERE DID THIS PROBLEM START WITHIN THE FASHION INDUSTRY?When we go back to the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, sewing machines where relatively new and not very popular to the community. (Gonzalez, 2015) In the 19th century clothes weren’t made in large amounts, clothing was made to order domestically, they were made for one person only. (Gonzalez, 2015) In those days people also only had one small closet and only a certain amount of the population owned enough clothes to fill this small closet, while the other part of the population had to wear their bit of clothes repeatedly.
(Gonzalez, 2015)The 1950’s was where mass production started, manufactures started to produce clothing in a wider range and producing more than just one garment of a design. (Gonzalez, 2015) This made consumers want more and more clothing pieces at a time and they wanted more new clothes than what was necessary for them to have. (Gonzalez, 2015) The floodgates opened for the fashion industry allowing the industry to become global and the World Trade Organization outsourced manufacturing. This caused poor working conditions for workers within factories and they started to work for very low wages a month.
(Gonzalez, 2015)Clothing where made cheaper to produce more at a time at a faster paste. Brands started to form, and they started to compete with prices and how they can keep their reputations higher than other brands. (Gonzalez, 2015) All of this made the fashion industry the second most polluting industry to the oil industry, because retailers and brands want to produce more clothes faster. (Cipriani, 2017)Brands and retailers got the idea of producing clothing faster from the CMT’s (Cut, make and trim) and CMP’s (Cut, make and pack).
They made companies feel like they must work in the same manner to produce clothes to stores around them. (Cipriani, 2017) This problem makes it possible for shortcomings like, the lack of designing skills, access to materials and credit schemes. (Cipriani, 2017)Companies started to benefit a growth process through fast fashion and could expand in capacities and do outreaches to other countries. Retailers would also compress the cost of labor to justify their massive investments in marketing. (Cipriani, 2017) Even though this is a problem in the industry manufacturesare looking past this problem. The fast fashion industry today is seen as a luxury and not a need.
(Cipriani, 2017)HOW THESE FABRICS INFLUENCE THE ENVIRONMENT FROM ANYWHERE:When we wash these fabrics, even at home in our washing machines, the water that was used to wash these clothes enters our oceans at an astonishing rate of about half a million tons every year, that is more than 50 billion plastic bottles. (Bauck, 2017) With this water entering the oceans it becomes part of our food chain and we need to find systemic innovations to create a future where we protect more than we in danger. (Bauck, 2017) The fashion industry needs to start thinking about ways they can slow down the production of clothing and the growing disposability’s thereof. (Bauck, 2017)HOW CAN COMPANIES DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM?Companies need to focus on ways they can be more aware of their environment, buy using non-toxic materials and dyes, they can look at more sustainable fabrics, which will cost them about 5-10% more in base price.
(Purt, 2011) When companies become more aware they can cause a chain reaction within the fashion industry even if it starts small. (Purt, 2011) We need to start thinking about our future and how we can improve the fashion industry, we as fashion designers need to avoid catastrophic outcomes and need to reduce carbon emissions. (Bauck, 2017)If brands can source more responsible textiles to implement in their collections, they will be able to get a bigger volume of orders for these collections. (Purt, 2011) Brands can lower their costs on clothing as well as retailers within the manufacturing process and they can make their products more accessible to the mainstream market. (Purt, 2011) Brands and retailers can also come together to work on the problem and to understand the problem more, this way they can find different ways to improve the problem.
(Purt, 2011)To implement systemic changes to this problem and the fashion industry brands and retailers must find a market for sustainable products within this industry. (Purt, 2011) This way they can make consumers more aware of where their clothes come from and how they are implementing more sustainable ways in their clothing (Purt, 2011)Designers need to share their knowledge on how they are changing their designs and making it more sustainable, they need to share the research they have done on these new methods to influence other designers and the supply chains. (Purt, 2011) Research must be done on more than just one fiber that is new, we need to find more than one solution to this problem.
(Purt, 2011)POSSIBLE SOLLUTIONS TO THIS PROBLEM:There are a few possible solutions to this problem that can be addressed by designers. Designers can create new sustainable fibers, by doing this they are finding a way to produce clothes with fabric can dissolve when it gets thrown away. (PETERS, 2016)Designers can reuse old clothing to make something new, re-designing something that has been worn or used before can be challenging. (PETERS, 2016) If designers can upcycle old clothes and sell them as new ones they are helping the environment by reducing fabric waste of old clothing. (PETERS, 2016)Designers can experiment with new materials that can be used to make clothes with that might already be available for example, new improved polyester that is made without chemicals, recycled food waste that is made into yarn, algea-based fabric and turning cotton into new clothes.
(PETERS, 2016)Retailers and brands can make sustainable packaging for their stores to store their products in. They can also promote textile recycling to consumers to make consumers more aware. (PETERS, 2016) Designers can also make use of raw materials to implement in their designs and reduce the use of water in factories. (PETERS, 2016)Retailers and brands can also change the method of how clothes are designed, sold and used, by designing garments that are easy to recycle. (PETERS, 2016) No waste designs also known as zero-waste design, can be used to reduce the waste of fabric and textiles. (PETERS, 2016)ZERO-WASTE DESIGN AS A SOLLUTION:Zero-waste is what the name says, it’s a design process where you reduce the waste of materials, there are also no textiles to dispose of.
(ROSS, 2017) You reuse martials so that nothing gets discarded, you can reuse pockets from an old garment or the collar or even pieces of fabric. (ROSS, 2017)Zero-waste design allows designers to a new way of thinking and gives them the chance to experiment with new ways of designing and to design smarter in a way. (Stear, 2015) This design technique allows designers to play with different forms of making clothing and to make garments from drawing up a pattern while making the garment. (Stear, 2015)When designing a garment with zero-waste design, you need to design without a mindset of making it for a specific fit or compromising the concept.
(LIU, 2016) You can design in a raw manner if your garments have a shape and does benefit from this way of designing, zero-waste designing saves 15% of fabric that would have been wasted by just doing a normal pattern. (LIU, 2016)When designing a zero-waste pattern you must design with curved seams and hems, you also need to design pattern pieces that are flared in different directions for the pieces to fit like puzzle pieces. (Yen, 2016)By using the zero-waste design method I will be designing patterns while draping my garments, this way I can work in a more efficient way to not waste fabric while making my garments.
I need to focus on different types of seams, hems and flares when designing my garments. If there might be fabric waste I will be using these fabrics to make accessories for my garments.The zero-waste pattern method is a very difficult method when it comes to designing garments, I need to think of different ways to design and I need to think smart to make the garment fit and still be comfortable to wear.
I will be limited when designing garments since the pattern must be like a puzzle when designing it, I can only use a certain type of seam and hem and need to focus more on doing designs that includes flared manipulations to make the fabric pieces fit together. I can’t always focus on the garment to be fitted everywhere and have certain details.The reason zero-waste design is ethical is because when you look at fabric waste it is a problem and with this method of designing you save fabric instead of wasting it. This has a positive impact on the environment and helps the people who live in these environments to live a fabric waste free lifestyle. There are less waste materials that poisons the soil and water and the air is clean of chemicals that these types of fabrics releases.The practical challenges I will be facing with zero-waste design will be designing clothes that people want to wear, clothes that are comfortable for people to wear to every occasion.
If I have people helping me with designing these garments I must make sure they know how to do draping and zero-waste designs and that they know the principles of what zero-waste design is all about.For me to make a success of this method to reduce fabric waste, I need to inspire other designers to do the same. I need to share what I know about zero-waste design with them, this way they can try this method and see if they can benefit from it. By designing clothes in a manner that you save fabric and make a whole garment using enough fabric to design something.CONCLUSION:Sustainability plays a huge roll within the fashion industry.
If designers don’t become more sustainable we will have more fabric waste then our population self, we won’t have any more landfills and the environment will be in danger, because of all the toxic chemicals that goes with all the fabric waste.Although we need to be sustainable we need to look more into our environments and the people living within them, we need to consider how these people live day by day and how we as designers influence them with what we do. With all the fabric waste we influence them negative since these chemicals pollutes their soil grounds and water.For me as a designer I would like to influence this problem by reducing fabric waste. The zero-waste design method is how I want to address this problem and make a difference even if it’s small at the beginning.Zero-waste is what the name says, it’s a design process where you reduce the waste of materials, there are also no textiles to dispose of.
(ROSS, 2017) You can reuse old pieces of old garments within your zero-waste designs, this way you also reuse second hand clothes.