Transforming waste : textile design process intervention : adding value to wool waste : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design, Massey University, Wellington, [New Zealand]

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Massey University
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A design shift has moved towards a more honest materialization of design thinking, which is process. To that end, I use a material responsive, iterative design led process to explore the underdeveloped potential of reclaimed industry fibre from Woolyarns Limited (Wingate), Summit Wool Spinners (Oamaru) and Radford Yarn Technologies Limited (Christchurch). Reclaimed fibre is of high quality but low value compared to the original virgin fibre. Typically a New Zealand wool spinning company will sell the reclaimed fibre at a cost price ($3/kg) to Auckland insulation manufacturers. In this research the potential of the fibre is explored using modern reinterpretations of traditional textile construction techniques and new non-woven and digital technologies. These processes have assisted to embrace the natural qualities of the fibre whilst adding value with the intention of producing innovative, high quality, high valued niche products as alternatives to the current ‘downcycled’ textiles produced in industry (insulation). To be completely sustainable is very difficult; but to eliminate and reduce waste to create value, minimize consumption and help prevent the premature disposal of this valuable natural resource offers another opportunity for design to support sustainable practice.
Wool waste, Recycling, Sustainable design