Contemporary sandal design using up-cycled materials, including salvaged leather and reclaimed maple wood.
“Wastlessness” forces us to consider the impacts of our designs on a larger scale, and pushes us as to innovate in order to combat the global problem of waste in our world. As someone interested in the fashion industry, I wanted to start here and look at the ways “Wastlessness” could be implemented in the industry.
Vintage is the antithesis of disposable fashion. Reusing old or secondhand clothing and furniture displaces the need to create new materials, saving energy and the earth from the hulking environmental impacts of fashion manufacturing. Buying pre-used clothing and furniture also saves them from ending up in landfills or flooding markets in third world countries.
Up-cycling is an artisanal approach to waste that requires creativity without any industrial intervention and it is an innovative, design-led and inherently environmentally friendly solution to textile waste. Up-cycling needs to be differentiated from recycling or down-cycling, where textiles are recycled but often into a product of lower quality.
Today, the fashion industry is increasingly over-producing garments and textiles. What is being thrown away is often beautiful and usable for designers who can approach such waste materials in a creative way. I believe that about the majority of materials being thrown away are reusable.