Final Collection Eco Designer Of The Future 2016
Following a mind-blowing Graduate Fashion Week in London's East End, I'm so thrilled to see that more and more of these fresh designers are launching into their careers with sustainability at the core of their work. I know (from first-hand experience) that being eco as a student isn't easy. That's why we at Offset Warehouse run the annual Eco Designer Of The Future competition to support up-and-coming names in eco design.
This year's winner was Rachel Stutins. See Rachel's original design development here. We catch up with Rachel now her course has finished to see what she made from our gorgeous fabrics and what's she's going to do now!
There are three innovative aspects to my collection; sustainability, interaction with the customer and the collection’s modern take on weaving.”
Customers can interact with some of the garments by weaving them themselves. This suddenly transforms a garment to something completely different and individual. Furthermore, customers have a deeper understanding and emotional connection to that item as they are directly involved in its creation.
I wanted to include eco-friendly aspects to my collection because I feel it is important to consider, or at least be aware of, the sustainability of every aspect of living and everyday choices we make from the clothes we wear to the way we travel and food we eat. Technologies have been developed that allow us to produce new materials in a more sustainable manner so why would we not use this to our advantage or at least consider the impact of products we make.
Working ethically was not part of my course but was something I chose to take on myself as I believe it is important. Sustainability is just one innovative aspect to my collection because I feel that it should be included and considered within all designs regardless if it is the main focus of that collection. Fashion forward design should not be compromised when making clothing sustainable but instead sustainability should worked into the collection and always thought about when designing and researching.
The main challenge I found when making an eco-friendly collection was the availability of fabrics and trims. When researching I found that some of the fabrics I was looking at were still in the very early stages of development which meant they weren't always available to purchase or would take a long time to order in. However, availability of fabrics is a problem which you will face in industry regardless if the fabric is sustainable or not so being flexible with your designs to a certain extent is all part of the design process.
There are lots of new and exciting eco-friendly fabrics and trims that are constantly being developed, the more you look for the more you will find. There are so many different directions sustainability can stem from designing a more eco-friendly collection isn't unachievable and you don't have to compromise on design. Sustainability is such a relevant topic in today's society so I think that future designers should all be aware of the consequences that the production of clothing, fabrics and trims can have on the environment.
Rachel exhibited at Graduate Fashion Week and will be graduating this summer. She is hoping to move to London or abroad to start her career as a fashion designer. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled! See more of Rachel's collection on her website.
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