Fashion Alive

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Remembering Fashion Alive mission...

Fashion Alive is a project dedicated to sustainable fashion. It was born from the spirit of collaboration between people, companies and Universities in the European Union, within the framework of the Creative Europe program. Its mission is to promote the future of sustainable fashion, studying and developing sustainable fashion design, production and communication standards.

How was Zero Waste Fashion born?

Project partners CREAMODITE, UCAMPANIA and UMINHO are each working on their own approach to sustainable fashion. 

CREAMODITE, the project leader, has focused their research on Zero Waste Fashion, a design methodology that rethinks conventional design and patternmaking to tackle pre-consumer waste production.

As part of the project’s mission to disseminate innovative sustainable fashion design methods and raise awareness about the importance of a circular textile and fashion industry, each partner showcases their collections in an innovative format combining conventional runway shows with performative elements, such as dancers, music and digital engagement strategies. 

Linear VS Circular Economy

On one hand, the concept of a linear economy consists in the life cycle of resources beginning at the extraction of raw materials, which are then processed and transformed for consumption and end up discarded as waste. 

So, how does this affect the fashion industry?

The harmful impact of linear resource-extraction-to-waste behaviors are becoming evident, causing devastating biodiversity loss and global warming of 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels according to the IPCC’s 2018 Summary for Policymakers (IPCC, 2018).

On the other had, the circular economy, as opposed to its linear counterpart, addresses the issue of waste by proposing a regenerative system where resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimized by slowing, closing and narrowing material and energy loops (Geissdoerfer et al., 2017). 

In recent years, Stahel (2018) identifies the fashion industry has been more preoccupied with “waste management policies instead of efficient use of resource use and waste prevention”. 

Hence, what is the main purpose of a circular economy? 

This translates into circular-economy concepts of upcycling, recycling and down-cycling pre and post-consumer waste.

The rise of Zero Waste Fashion

According to National Geographic report: “A scrap of difference: why fashion offcuts don’t need to end up in a landfill”, one of the most unspoken culprits of pre-consumer waste production is hidden in the manufacturing process. Traditional pattern-making, based on organic body shapes, can produce up to 15% of textile waste during the marking and cutting process. 

Zero Waste Fashion emerges as an opportunity for designers and manufacturers to implement creative project design methodologies that have a positive impact on waste production, by rethinking conventional design, patternmaking and construction techniques to work with a global context and take advantage of the entire fabric width. 

Here, the main focus is shifted to the raw material, the backbone of any garment, factoring in the width of the fabric to maximize material utilization. Design is no longer based on a body or a mannequin, nor are fashion figures drawn as a source of inspiration. Rather, the design is based on the optimization of the fabric through the geometric figures that will form the volumetric body grid on which the design will be based.

Designing without generating waste poses considerable improvements on the creative process. Patterns have new shapes and fit together in unconventional ways, construction requires technical specifications of operation sequences in order to build the garment, but at the same time they are straightforward to construct if one has access to these specifications. 

Collection development

CREAMODITE’s Zero Waste Fashion® collection is the result of a 5-year study of design methodologies by designer Gisela Fortuna, director of CREAMODITE.

Maison Mesa joins in 2022 as creative director to revise the designs of the new generation of sustainable fashion and textile designers who participated in the Zero Waste Fashion design and Print Design contests organized by CREAMODITE. 

The Zero Waste Fashion contest consisted of a call for designs that followed this methodology. Over 50 applications from all over the world were received, and the finalists were invited to send over their garments to Maison Mesa’s headquarters. for fitting and adjustments. 

To convey a unified front for the multiplicity of young-generation designer’s voices, the color selection was black, chosen due to its significance in Spanish culture (popularized by Spanish king Felipe II), a color representing extreme elegance but also a minimalistic yet avant-garde restraint. 

We need sustainable fashion!

Finally, through the experimentation carried out by contest winners, Gisela Fortuna and Juan Carlos Mesa, Creamodite’s collection for Fashion Alive resulted in a versatile and rich collection of Zero Waste Fashion designs, which convey a sustainable and inclusive message by offering genderless and Zero Waste designs. 

Want to see the full collection of Zero Waste Fashion?

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