Zero Waste Fashion and Textile Design

Four world-leading Zero Waste designers held a seminar in the lecture theatre at Chelsea College of Art and Design on 28th of March. The day was introduced by TED Senior Research Fellow Dr Kate Goldsworthy, and was the first event where the designers Julian MacDonald, Timo Rissanen, Holly MacQuillan and David Telfer spoke together about their practice in Zero Waste pattern cutting. 115 participants were booked for the seminar in the morning, mostly coming from the fashion and textile courses at UAL.

The first speaker was Timo Rissanen presenting his PhD research. Timo’s first strong statement was that aesthetics are a vital consideration in zero waste pattern cutting: ‘It is easy to make an ugly zero-waste garment’. He demonstrated his zero waste work spanning over ten years to his most recent projects, including the 15% project with Salla Salin.  Although he claims some of his work might be complicated and complex, using more fabric to achieve a Zero Waste approach, he also debated what the meaning of simplicity is in fashion design. Some of his students at Parsons the New School of Design, where he leads the Zero Waste elective, have developed zero waste garments that are indistinguishable from traditional patterns such as a traditional white shirt and a parka. Finally he presented the collaborative project he started with Otto von Busch amongst others: ‘The Fashion Praxis Collective’. More information is available on Timo’s website.

The second speaker was Holly MacQuillan. Holly spoke about risk-taking, and all of her work reflects this approach. To her, Zero Waste ‘embraces uncertainty as a way of responding sensitively to both materials and instability of the environment’, and is ‘a step away from egocentric hierarchical design models’. She developed her TWINSET garments through a challenge to make a men’s simple hoodie and trousers from a zero waste pattern. Her project ‘Make Use’ developed in collaboration with Local Wisdom, and she published tutorials for Zero Waste garments online on

David Telfer brought a different perspective to the day, as he is talking from experience in industry, while the other practitioners come from teaching and academic research. The development of his degree project at the University of Brighton looked at speed of clothing manufacturing processes. His minimal seam garment project explored how to produce a garment in 30 minutes. David also presented his collaborations with TED that resulted from his Zero Waste garment in the Yield exhibition in 2011.  As for the other presenters, he introduced the presentation with his inspiration taken from history, where zero waste has approaches have been used. TED contacted him to develop work for the VF Futurewear exhibition in 2012, where he made a Zero Waste prototype garments for the North Face. He has worked on the FIREup funded Laser Line project with Dr Kate Goldsworthy and is currently working with the TED team members Professor Kay Politowicz and Dr Kate Goldsworthy on a new project for the online exhibition launching on our Textiletoolbox platform in October 2014.

The final speaker was Julian Roberts. All three previous speakers had quoted Julian as an inspiration, as he was the first one publishing his work online and so connecting to the other researchers across the globe. Timo and Holly discovered Julian’s work online while developing their own approach for Zero Waste pattern cutting. A film that showed extracts of his workshops, fashion shows, historical inspiration and other creative projects in film was the back-drop for Julian’s energetic presentation. Julian questions the role of the designer through research, video, websites and fashion. Using teaching and workshops to develop his approach and to promote ‘lateral thinking’ he says “the more you show a technique to an audience the more you simplify it.” Julian Roberts is a creative visionary who developed his own techniques working with body measurements rather than metrics through ‘lateral thinking’, and questions how education should evolve. As Holly, he embraces serendipity: “A lot of my best work is from happy mistakes”.

The seminar was followed by an invitation only workshop in Chelsea’s Green Room in the afternoon, where Holly MacQuillan demonstrated Zero Waste pattern cutting to a group of TED researchers and a few invited guests. Holly’s workshop introduced us to one of the main motivations behind her work: risk-taking. She has developed several approaches to Zero Waste pattern cutting depending on the fabric type and the pattern requirements. The slides presentation demonstrated expertise and ingeniousness in using pattern cuts for strategic garment outcomes. She then demonstrated her approach with a rectangular piece of cloth folded in two, where all she cut out was the neck, and the sleeve. On a mannequin, she showed how draping can develop several garment shapes form this simple starting point. She uses the cut out fabric for the collar, and a structural inset in the back of the fabric. All workshops partcipants developed their own garment in teams.

The Twitter feed of the event is available under #ZeroWaste.

Closed Loop and Up-cycling in Press

TED Senior Research Fellow Dr Kate Goldsworthy was interviewed by Claudia Cahalane at The Guardian to discuss the circular economy approach in the textile and clothing industry.

The sustainable business online article explores different sustainable initiatives within the clothing and fibre sector. Kate discusses her upcoming paper Design for Cyclability, which is about the role of proactive design approaches towards a circular economy, and the importance of industry to focus on ‘cradle to cradle’ principles. To read the full Guardian article click here.

Professor Becky Earley, Director of Textile Futures Research Centre was interviewed by the Ecotextile News to discuss up-cycling and closed loop production for fashion retailers.

The article investigates the need for designers, waste specialists and garment maufacturers to work in situ, to make these textile processes a financial and attractive proposition for leading clothing brands and retailers, with the need for the fashion and textile industry to invest in sustainable intiatives in industry and manufacturing. You can read the full version of this article in the latest issue of Ecotextile News, and an excerpt from the article here.

The TEN cards are now available in Swedish and simplified / traditional Chinese

THE TEN cards are now available to buy from the TFRC shop in Swedish, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese.

TED has translated THE TEN cards to Swedish for our MISTRA Future Fashion project 3 ‘Interconnected Design Thinking and Processes for Sustainable Textiles and Fashion’. The first sets of Swedish cards have been printed for the MISTRA Future Fashion researchers meeting at the Copenhagen Business School in November 2013.

For the field research with MISTRA Future Fashion in China, THE TEN cards have been translated to both traditional Chinese for our workshop in Hong Kong in January 2014, and to simplified Chinese for our field research in Shanghai. The recent Redress EcoChic Design Award 2013 winners have received their first sets of cards to co-create an up-cycled Hong Kong Shirt.

Our MISTRA Future Fashion project website Textiletoolbox will develop into an online exhibition later this year, and we will invite designers to use the cards to develop new prototypes.

Falmouth University PhD studentship competition

The Falmouth University PhD studentships competition is now open for the October 2014-15 entry. These are funded by Falmouth and details are available on the PhD Studentships area of the Falmouth website.

Applications linked to the university’s two main thematic areas are of interest: sustainable design and the digital economy, and where relevant the development of the Cornish economy.

The deadline for these Falmouth Studentships is the 30th May 2014 (by 5pm) and the application form can be downloaded from the Research Degrees course page.

FIREup Platform Launch

FIREup would like to invite you to celebrate the launch of its new online platform. This interactive space brings together designers and academics to share knowledge, inspire innovation and bring about collaborations. The platform is designed to help designers and fashion businesses in the UK access leading research based at the University of the Arts London and beyond. The collaborations initiated between these sectors is exactly where the future of the fashion industry can be realised.

The evening will mark a year of progress by showcasing current catalyst projects that have received FIREup funding since the initiative’s inception.

The showcase will take place at The Trampery in London Fields which is situated in the heart of Hackney’s fashion and creative community. The Trampery houses a community of fashion designers, technology and creative enterprises, and is close to London College of Fashion’s Mare Street site – the home of the Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) and Designer–Manufacturer Innovation Centre (DISC). It’s the perfect place to bring together designers and academics to share knowledge, inspire innovation and bring about new collaborations.

Event Programme:

Friday 21st March 12.30pm – 7pm

The Trampery London Fields, 125 – 127 Mare Street, London E8 3RH


• Lunch served 12.30pm

• FIREup Introduction 1.30pm-1.45pm

• Session 1 1.45pm-2.20pm

No money or time for R&D? Can Collaborative Research help you and where to find the funding?

Presented by Sandy Black, FIREup PI

Followed by Q&A with Robert Keegan (AHRC), Jess Sully (CITKN), TSB representative, Rebecca Earley (FIREup Co-investigator UAL) and Adam Thorpe (FIREup Co-investigator, UAL)

• Session 2 2.30pm– 4pm

Three Round Table discussions:

1. Textile Collective: Developing an interdisciplinary London-based textile design collective

Experts: Kirsty McDougall (Hills McDougall), Prof Rebecca Earley (UAL), Val Furphy (Furphy Simpson Design) , Chaired by Alex McIntosh (FIREup Researcher)

2. Sustainable New Product Development, Innovation through new materials, technologies and processes

Experts: Simon Thorogood (UAL), Thomas Makryniotis (UAL), Jonathan Chippindale (Holition), Michelle Lowe Holder, Kate Goldsworthy (UAL)

Chaired by prof Sandy Black (FIREup Principal Investigator)

3. New Business Models: Innovation in Fashion Communication, Promotion and Digital Strategies

Experts: Nick Ryan (Worn Again), Not Just a Label, ShowStudio (tbc), Hywel Davies (UAL tbc)

Chaired by Adam Thorpe (FIREup Co-Investigator)

• Tea Break 4pm – 4.30pm

• FIREup Showcase 4.30pm – 5pm

• Drinks reception 5pm – 7pm

Please RSVP to Gabrielle Miller

Studentships in Sustainable Design at Falmouth University

Candidates interested in a practice based Sustainable Design PhD can apply for a funded studentship at Falmouth University by 28th of March 2014. Successful applicants will be funded for tuition fees (£3900 per year at 2013/14 rates) and a maintenance award (£13726 per year at 2013/14 rates). The research area should explore digital technologies in support of sustainable development, in areas such as tele and home healthcare; factories of the future; transport and localism.

For more information follow this link or contact Dr. Yorick Benjamin.

Low Carbon Entrepreneurs 2014

Students have the opportunity to apply to become Low Carbon Entrepreneurs 2014.

The Mayor is looking for student ideas to reduce London’s energy use across everything from engineering to fashion. Successful applicants can receive £20k in funding or a paid internship with Siemens. Students can submit as many entries as they like by the competition deadline on 28th of March.

More information can be found here.

COST- Funded International Research Collaboration

Miriam Ribul has been awarded funding for a Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) from COST, the European Fund for Cooperation in Science and Technology, towards the development of a collaborative project with a technical scientist from Project 5 in MISTRA Future Fashion based at SP Technical Research Institute and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and Borås, Sweden.

Last week Miriam presented a poster about her collaboration at the COST workshop in Bangor, Wales, for the COST action titled ‘innovative applications in regenerated wood cellulose fibres’. The event was organised by the Biocomposites Centre and COST FP1205, and included presentations from projects developed in Austria, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Latvia, Slovenia, Israel, France, Poland, Germany, UK, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Turkey.

Miriam’s interdisciplinary project titled ‘Design possibilities in regenerated cellulose materials’ focuses on the processes and tools applied in the lab for the development of regenerated cellulose fibres. The contribution of the funding towards this practice-led design residency allowed for the development of a science-design collaboration with hand-on applications of the research ideas and material explorations in the lab. The funded research trips to SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Chalmers University of Technology included meetings with scientists from the physical and organic chemistry departments, and visits to the recently opened Textile Fashion Centre at The Swedish School of Textiles in Borås and Swerea IVF in Gothenburg.

The funded design research project started on 20th of January 2014 and the outcomes will be published as part of our online exhibition Textiletoolbox in June 2014.

Zero Waste Fashion & Textile Design

We are proud to present a lecture seminar and master class by four of the world’s leading zero waste fashion and textile design researchers at Chelsea College of Arts: Holly McQuillan, Massey University (New Zealand); Dr Timo Rissanen, Parsons The New School for Design (New York); Julian Roberts, Royal College of Art (London) and David Telfer, COS (London).

Holly McQuillan‘s work focuses on exploring the possibilities that arise when garment design is restrained by the goal of zero-waste. As a zero-waste pattern designer, educator and researcher she has developed methods and approaches to eliminate the production of waste from the production of clothing, while revealing exciting new detail, print layout, line and form.

Dr Timo Rissanen‘s creative practice is grounded in enquiry through pattern cutting. As a fashion designer and educator who has lived and worked internationally he is interested in global challenges with local perspectives, his research focuses on fashion and sustainability – particularly zero-waste fashion design – he sees fashion as integral to the everyday experience of living and creating a fashion system that enriches humanity as a task for us all.

Julian Roberts is a fashion designer, educator and inventor of  ‘Subtraction Cutting’ a garment pattern cutting method of hollowed construction, which can be used to make mens and womens fashion garments, accessories and interior/exterior products. Julian demostrates ‘Subtracting Cutting’ around the world – teaching a more organic approach to pattern making allowing the fabric to dictate the design.

David Telfer is a menswear designer with a focus on sustainable pattern cutting techniques including  zero-waste design, monomaterial detailing, minimal seam construction( a technique to reduce the number of seams used to construct a garment), and 1 piece construction (a method of tailoring one piece of fabric to the body).

Date: 28th March 2014

Time: 11:00 – 1300

Lecture Theatre, Chelsea College of Arts, Atterbury Street, London SW1P 4JU

Open in Google Maps

The seminar is highly recommended for all sustainable fashion and textile designers.

To book a FREE place go to UAL Events or email Angela Hartley

Material Journeys, Konstfack Elective, Stockholm 2014

The last week in February saw the start of the second Elective program run by TED at Konstfack University of the Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. The Elective 2013-2014 is titled ‘Material Journeys‘ and will explore the objects we design as material life-cycles or stories. Workshops will be delivered on cyclability, creative writing and visualisation, using THE TEN to provoke sustainable thinking as part of an ‘interconnected design process’.. The Elective course is run by Guest Professors Dr Kate Goldsworthy with Professor Kay Politowicz between February and April 2014. Guest lecturers Miriam Ribul, from TED and Sandy MacLennan, from London based consultancy East Central Studios’ will join the team during the course.

The course is designed for students from across the disciplines including Textile, Industrial Design, Storytelling, Ceramics and Glass courses at Konstfack, each bringing their own individual approach to the materials agenda.

Last year’s Elective program was titled Manifesto for Creative Innovation and concluded in a Zine produced by the students and a final exhibition of work. Guest Professor Becky Earley ran a Black Hack workshop with the students during the Spring term 2013.