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

“…create clothing that better serves both the user and the environment”. Holly McQuillan.

 The zero-waste fashion movement has been embraced internationally and includes designers such as British Columbia’s Katherine Soucie, the UK-based Mark Liu and Julian Roberts, New Zealand’s Holly McQuillan, as well as Yeohlee Teng and Timo Rissanen in the United States.

Ms. McQuillan’s quote and the work of these zero-waste fashion designers inspire me. In 13 to 0, my intent is to shift my fashion design to zero waste.

Although recently popularized as a response to fast fashion, zero-waste design has been around for centuries. It can be found in many traditional garments, like the Japanese kimono and the Indian sari. Back then fabric was valued–waste was minimized. As fabric became affordable and production became industrialized, waste crept into the manufacturing process. (The Creation of Waste-Free Garments by Jessica Yen)

Primarily eco conscious in my textile design techniques since 2011, I made an additional commitment to alter my garment design process to eliminate fabric waste. Although I made loom-shaped clothes when I first began weaving, I changed to pattern cutting to create fashion garments but this method creates fabric waste. In 13 to 0, I am altering how I create unique garments.

Subtraction cutting, a method developed by Julian Roberts to reduce waste in garment design, is the first type of waste reduction techniques that I have used to create garments. In 13 to 0, I start with this limited waste design method that created thirteen off cuts, and go on to work with techniques that reduce fabric waste to zero for other garments. The techniques, historical cutting methods and garment designs that use squares and triangles, have been chosen because they incorporate every part of a textile.

The 13 to 0 garments and accessories are made from textiles 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. The focus of this exhibition is on mindful garment design.

Thirteen to Zero – In undertaking this exploration, I am 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