Wednesday, July 27, 2011

{sustainable design 3} refashion

Source Fall 2010 lookbook
Refashioning is the reshaping of a 'used' clothing garment to extend its life and includes transforming its style. It can be subtle or dramatic. Unlike upcycling, which will be profiled in a separate instalment of this series, the starting point and ending point are both clothing.

The commercialisation of fashion has led to fast fashion and the planned obsolescence of styles before the garment has even worn out. It places fashion at odds with the very notion of sustainability. Never fear! Refashion is here. It can turn last season's shirt into this season's skirt!

You are only ever a couple of clicks away from a refashion co-op or group. Refashioning is perfect for the production of one-offs. Just check out Katwise on etsy to buy some, the refashion co-op to share your own projects and my own little refashion right here.

The use of refashioning as a basis for larger scale sustainable design poses some planning and supply challenges. How can you base a business around refashioning if the 'refashion' is bespoke and depends upon the quality, type and availability of the second hand clothing? Kim Fraser stared down this issue and discovered men's trousers were available in large enough quantities with a relatively standard shape and construction to support a form of mass refashioning... into ladies dresses! This resulted in the T-series of dresses. That capitalised on repeatability and productisation.


Refashioning en masse is possible. And I'll hold the candle for the postive impact of the online sewing communities on mass one-off refashioning. Do you find it easy or hard to throw out clothing? Have you thought of refashioning?

And here's some more from McQ's Fall 2010...  for parting refashion inspiration.

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