This study arises out of the researcher’s experience in the fields of costume and fashion. It develops, through design practice and reflection, a design process for fashion wear made from post-consumer recycled materials. Theoretical analysis provides global, historical, philosophical and design contexts within which to develop an ethos for this variant form of fashion wear designated ReFashion.
Differences in design process between conventional fashion and ReFashion are detailed to highlight the significance of provenance of materials in the light of a perceived need to slow down clothing production and consumption. This perception is informed by scientific predictions that failure to engage with urgently needed changes to the prevalent economic paradigm will result in planet earth reaching a tipping point with potentially disastrous results for its inhabitants. Fundamental to the ReFashion ethos is preparedness for a speculative post-apocalyptic future that might render the fashion system unable to operate as it currently does, necessitating a more self-sufficient approach to clothing needs, with an accompanying shift in perceptions of what is deemed fashionable. The theme Survivalist Fantasy provides a lens to bring conceptual and material aspects of the work into focus. Informed by sustainability, Survivalist Fantasy recontextualises a failure of sustainable initiatives on a global scale and their adaptation on a local scale specifically in the arena of clothing.