Mass-production and consumption is causing mountains of waste, overwhelming our fragile world. Since the fast fashion industry is one of the major contributors of waste, it is vital we change the way we produce, consume and market clothing in order to address concerns such as global warming. We need to consider how we can make clothing within a closed cycle to minimise waste. The garments should either be biodegradable and become nutrients for the earth, or be able to go back into the technological cycle, i.e. to be stripped of components and reused, or else up-cycled with zero waste; a cradle-to-cradle life cycle (McDonough & Braungart, 2002).
This project explores how a more sustainable relationship can be created between the designer, consumer and their community, in an attempt to slow the fashion industry down. Drawing upon sustainability theories I apply a new system of design, production and consumption that fosters relationships and active participation in the garment manufacturing process, as well as making clothing that is tailored for an individual’s lifestyle. In this project I have created bespoke clothing items for and with three people. The clothes are conceived as treasures that my clients can keep forever. Instead of simply being fashionable and of the time, the New Bespoke clothing is both timely and timeless. Through a series of consultations I develop an understanding of my clients personality and lifestyle, and through photographic explorations I develop a silhouette from their current wardrobe from which to design the garments. The transparency of this production system is aimed to educate my clients about environmental issues in the fashion industry, and to change their perception of the value of clothing.