Zero Waste - fashion designer´s tetris challenge

Mark Liu Zero waste fashion design 5

Zero Waste is a concept that is a way of constructing garments without wasting fabric. The fact is that an average of 15% of all fabrics used in the production of clothes is discarded as scraps. From pattern-cutting to unused edging, the clothing industry is responsible for a lot of waste. Zero Waste fashion challenges designers to design the patters that 0% is lost in cutting. The fabric that does end up on the cutting room floor is fashioned into usable embellishments and details instead of beign thrown away. Cutters are often charged with being the worst wasters. But the cycle always starts with the designer who conceptualizes the pattern's cut requirements, leaving the cutter no choice but to follow on the dotted lines. Sure, the creative process contributes to some of the discarded samples, but the real waste lies in the lack of organization and sloppy pattern designs. Designers like Mark Liu and Caroline Priebe are leading the Zero Waste movement using environmentally conscious fabrics cut with meticulous patterns in the creation of some seriously eco-chic designs. Timo Rissanen, a Finnish fashion designer currently teaching fashion in Australia, has a passion for zero waste. Take a look at some of his designs and you´ll see what zero waste fashion is in action. If you´re a student in fashion design or a professional designer all ready in business, I beg you to investigate this aspect of fashion design further as you can make a huge difference in your future works!

Timo recommends looking up these people and works:
Holly McQuillan
Precarious Cut
Yeohlee Teng

Timo Rissanen (Bad Dogs collection) Zero Waste fashion designs:

Timo Rissanen Zero Waste Hoodie Pattern
Timo Rissanen Zero Waste Leggings Pattern

Mark Liu Zero Waste fashion designs:

Mark Liu Zero waste fashion design 4
Mark Liu Zero waste fashion design 1
Mark Liu Zero waste fashion design 2

Yeohlee Teng (zero waste) Fall 2009 collection:

Yeohlee Teng Zero Waste FW2009
Yeohlee Teng Zero Waste FW2009

Outi Les Pyy

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  1. Great idea! I especially like Mark Liu's!

  2. Also, the unused selvedges can be, for example, sent to handicapped people who will weave them into fabric rugs...
    - drawing from my experience of once helping out in a centre for handicapped people, where we were sorting these selvedges out (by material and length).