Dawn Michelle Russell: Thirteen to Zero: exploring sustainable design

Thursday, March 23, 2017 ― Sunday, May 07, 2017

Thirteen to Zero
exploring sustainable design

13 to 0 is not a sports score–it is an exploration of waste reduction in garment design by a local textile artist.

Thirteen to Zero is an exploration of moving from minimal waste, a thirteen fabric scrap garment design to no waste, an enhanced commitment to mindful, zero waste design.

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. In this exhibition, Russell shifts her design from minimal waste to zero waste while exploring historical cloth-cutting techniques used to create garments.

As a weaver and hand dyer, Russell has pursued traditional methods of textile making with natural fibres, plant dyes, low water process and minimal waste design to create one-of-a-kind garments. The garments and accessories in this exhibition will be created from unique textiles designed by the artist. Each fabric is earth inspired and sourced using plant materials, mineral pigments, rusting techniques and other methods that evolve from earth elements.

The Fashion industry is the second most wasteful industry in the world but sustainability and ethical conduct have begun to matter to consumers and the industry.

This exhibition draws its inspiration from the Slow Clothes/Slow Fashion movement which helps to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable fashion. The term ‘slow fashion’, coined in 2008 by sustainable design consultant Kate Fletcher, describes an approach to clothing and fashion that is at odds with the fast fashion cycle.

“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.

Thirteen to Zero brings this awareness into sharp focus by visually challenging the ‘fast fashion’ industry that we consider the norm.

read the artist’s thoughts on her process on our blog

See a video around the construction of the Disappearing Nine Patch 

Listen Dawn’s interview with Sheryl MacKay on NorthbyNorthwest

read the review of the exhibition 

Artist Website: