Thursday, September 5, 2019

Fashion Circular Economy and Screen Time?

When I thought that screen time and climate change are domains that we cannot tackle at the same time, there is the Forest app. So I thought what if I could address screen time and the fashion circular economy both at the same time? Since I'm from a fashion design background and I advocate for sustainable and slow fashion practices, it would be nice to see if there's any overlaps. Harah was also very supportive on this so I started to do more research on sustainability, waste, upcycle, fashion carbon footprint, responsible buying, wearing and extending garment lifespan from a consumer perspective, for designers, we often look at zero waste cutting and materials usage for sustainability.

(Hodgson, 2018)
I came across few initiatives,

1. Circular Fashion
It is a sustainable change agency that create a unique circularity.ID for each approved garment and can be attached as a scannable woven label to the piece. Customers are able to access the digital product and trace the product throughout the whole life cycle.

The customer interface holds full transparency of a garment’s story including its production, materials and care instructions. Options and benefits to update, resell or recycle a garment are presented.

The circularity.ID enacts a sorting software where circular garments quickly can be identified at sorting facilities and sent to the matching recycling partner. In the future, the option to bring these recycled textiles back into the production stream will be possible, creating an endless textile loop.

(Connect Fashion Global Initiative)

2. The Fashion Pulpit, Singapore
The founder has been promoting sustainable fashion in Singapore for 3 years before setting up a space for anyone who values style and sustainability. It encourages fabric/clothing swapping, upcycling, tailoring and learn fashion tips and tricks. They have organised many workshops, panel discussions and collaborations with companies and government agencies and they have noticed that people are motivated to create positive change.

There is also the Fashion Maker Space who hopes to build a community bonded by creative skills, knowledge and camaraderie. There's also Style Theory who encourages society to rent instead of buying new clothes to support a greener way of life for reducing textile waste

For me I was thinking of creating a Downtime leisure programme relating to fashion crafting, which is taking a step up from my current DIY tutorials and there were 3 things that came to my mind:

1. Upcycle cafe
I thought of this before coming across The Fashion Pulpit and I was thinking other than just fashion, what if we have different upcycling stations - jewelry made from old electronics (mobile phones), bags made from old canvas or tents, clothes made from curtains/bedsheets or participants can choose to bring their own clothes/materials to upcycle. Even for food, we can turn 'ugly food' into tasty and edible meals, inspired by my senior work , he was looking at food waste and how we can minimise it. This space can encourage interaction, hands-on work, creativity and imagination.

2. Sew, Anywhere
I was asking people if they are willing to try out my DIY tutorials and what are the challenges they are facing? First thing they say is always, I don't have a sewing machine at home. So I thought, why don't I create an accessible sewing kit that people can bring around. All current hand held sewing machines don't work well and they spoil easily. I haven't really look into this area because machine design is something I haven't attempt before. There may be opportunities for this though.

3. Expand on the Circular Fashion ID tag
The app can share different styling tips for the clothes you have in the wardrobe and 'complain' when you haven't wore it for sometime. The idea is the more times you wear what you already have, the less carbon footprint you have.

I'm still not sure if I want to incorporate both huge complex problems (screentime and fashion sustainability) into one project. I will continue to do more research into the screen time domain and if there are suitable overlaps, I may consider to combine.


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