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Cultural heritage and sustainable fashion method

Fashion Alive: A slow conscious approach to fashion education.

Our Method Design: Nowadays, the exponential growth in demand in the clothing sector and the resulting harmful environmental consequences have made it essential to recycle textile waste in order to preserve the planet and protect the people living on it.

Method Design

Nowadays, the exponential growth in demand in the clothing sector and the resulting harmful environmental consequences have made it essential to recycle textile waste in order to preserve the planet and protect the people living on it. 

Faced with the relentless pressure on the environment due to the exploitation of resources and the resulting pollution, we must act fast and find concrete solutions. Since garments are often composed of different types of fabrics, recycling them can be complex, as recycling possibilities vary from fiber to fiber. 

Are there any approachable solutions?

  • Developing recycling technologies requires substantial investments and a committed approach. 
  • Recycling is a sustainable alternative that allows for a different and reasoned production as part of a circular economy process. 
  • In addition, sustainable fashion also stimulates conscious consumption: no to disposable purchases, yes to buying fewer, more expensive (because of higher quality) garments that will last longer. 
 

After a careful evaluation among various fabrics, we chose linen, as it is the most biodegradable fiber, its cultivation preserves the soil and does not require chemical pesticides as it is not attacked by pests, it also needs little water, it is wear-resistant, thermoregulating and hypoallergenic, it is very beautiful, bright and capable of making colors and chromatic effects stand out. All this makes it a very valuable material by far.

The reason of choice edited
by Ornella Cirillo

In a research and teaching project centered on the broad and multifaceted theme of sustainability in fashion, the thematic declinations around which the activities can revolve are many… and each one motivated by specific reasons. 

Starting from the assumption that sustainability, as is well known, not only has to do with the material production of goods, but also with the cultural dimension of products and their immaterial content; the chosen direction in Fashion Alive concerned the ethical sphere of the fashion project, with a focus that favors slow fashion and the re-evaluation of traditional working techniques, overshadowed by the more advanced processes of industrialisation. 

 

Production, solidarity fashion and second-hand fashion:

Recycles in its various forms at the center of conscious consumption. The reuse hypothesis is a practice based on the use of materials that are recognised as having both an intrinsic value and an aptitude for integration with innovative forms and ways. 

In the international team of Fashion Alive, the UdR of the University of Campania, from its initial intentions, approached the project focus as an opportunity to express its sensitivity towards the memory of its own material culture, which strongly distinguishes Italy from most of the European context. In this sense, in fact, the intention was to follow up on a pioneering experience carried out in 2022 on the occasion of Procida’s nomination as Italian Capital of Culture, during which it was possible to recognise a significant duality in the outfit (Cirillo et al., 2022): for many a special family treasure, for others waste material, an unwieldy surplus to be disposed of.

The design of the corredo as an anticipated vision of inhabiting the body edited by Vincenzo Cirillo

As part of the Fashion Alive project and as part of the didactic experimentation conducted in the Drawing Laboratory (CdL in Design for Fashion), it was proposed to the young designers to understand the cultural reasons linked to the creation and adoption of traditional garments as well as to study, through the methodological action of drawing, the geometric configuration of the textile surface and the habitability with the body of the same.

 

The aim was to try to convey. 

On the one hand, how the anatomy of the body and the textile motif give rise to the shape and language of the designed garment (which will be translated through the silhouette of the garment).

On the other hand, how designing a garment means intervening on the topography of the body wearing it and reasoning in terms of the three-dimensionality of the textile surface that is projected onto the body, placing itself in contact or not with it (Avella, 2018, p. 192)

Singularity and plurality of the fashion project, between desecration of corredo and textile upcycling edited by Chiara Scarpitti

 “We live in strange, to paraphrase Slavoji Zizek, particularly interesting times.”

Out of control, contemporary society, defined by some philosophers as fluid, of fatigue (Han, 2020), or of performance, eludes any attempt at definition. We are experiencing a real and tangible crisis, brought about by the logic of digital capitalism, of mass surveillance, of artificial intelligence taking over from man.

The intimate strangeness and continuous mutation of the contemporary places design culture on the border between human, nature and technology, in a delicate balance between the dichotomies of the living and the artificial, the organic and the digital. 

Here, analyzing the methodologies and dynamics that are capable of triggering divergent thinking in relation to the subject matter is a complex issue but one that deserves reflection, at a time when contemporary fashion increasingly needs to explore this dual speculative-practical mode (Rocamora & Smelik, 2015).

Ultimately…

Far from absolute answers, but instead opening the horizon of fashion to complex questions, the capsule collections realized by the Workshops project contemporary education into a dimension of mixed media. 

In a perspective both reflective and material, strongly connected to the outfit and to the breaking of its identity codes, the design results of Fashion Alive are configured as active triggers – hybrid garments that modify and extend the body, material details that invite a new look at sartorial tradition and local heritages of excellence.

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