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13 to 0 is not a sports score–it is my exploration of waste reduction in garment design for Della Terra Designs.

The Fashion industry is the second most wasteful industry in the world but sustainability and ethical practices have begun to matter to consumers and the industry. Not a day goes by without the media reporting on the high cost of fast fashion on our environment. Each of us can and need to do our part.

Slow Fashion is about the consumer becoming aware of the whole process–from design through production, through use and through the potential to reuse.” Hazel Clark, research chair of fashion at Parsons School of Design.

Approximately 15% of the total fabric used in garment pattern cutting is waste. This is just one of the ways this industry affects our environment. A movement to zero-waste fashion is gaining momentum. Zero-waste garments are produced with little or no textile waste.

I support the Slow Clothes movement in the textiles I design as a weaver and hand dyer using traditional and non-traditional methods using natural fibres, plant dyes, and low water process. Primarily eco conscious in my own textile design techniques since 2011, I have now made an additional commitment to alter my garment design process to eliminate fabric waste.

Throughout history, hand weavers have focused on reducing material waste because the textile was quite valuable–cloth cutting techniques and the influence of loom width and length defined the garment styles.

Although I made loom-shaped clothes when I first began weaving, I changed to pattern cutting in my own work but this method creates fabric waste. In 13 to 0, my intent is to shift my designs to zero waste as well as to explore historical cloth-cutting techniques to create garments.

The garments and accessories displayed in this exhibition have been created using eco conscious methods. Each textile is earth inspired and sourced using plant materials, mineral pigments, rusting techniques and other methods that evolve from earth elements.  However, the focus of this exhibition is on mindful garment design.

Thirteen to Zero – In undertaking this exploration, moving from minimal waste, a thirteen fabric scrap garment design to no waste, an enhanced commitment to mindful, zero waste design evolved.

Dawn Michelle Russell

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