Today we manufacture millions of tons of new garments every year, of which 15% of each roll of fabric automatically becomes textile waste according to the article «A scrap of difference: why fashion offcuts don’t need to end up in landfills» by National Geographic (Langenheim, 2019).
In the European Union alone, it is estimated that around 8 million tons of textile waste is generated every year, not only from clothing but also from sheets, towels, upholstery, etc. And only 20% is recycled, the rest ends up in landfills.
In response to this growing concern, solutions to specific problems have arisen, one example is Zero Waste.
Zero Waste Pattern Making
The Zero Waste pattern-making system intervenes in the design and prevention phase. It proposes a rethinking of traditional patternmaking systems to take advantage of the entire fabric and eliminate textile waste.
A great example of this is one of the pioneers in the subject Holly Mcquillan who is dedicated to the research and application of Zero Waste practices and systems in fashion.
Holly focuses on the issues involved in the transition to sustainable design, the impact of technology and its applications in fashion design and manufacturing. She is also co-author of the book Zero Waste Fashion Design with Timo Rissanen and co-curator of the first exhibition focused on zero waste fashion.
Today Holly explores various technological applications for responsible purposes such as digital design and sampling with Clo-3D, where resources are optimized and waste is avoided, allowing strategic planning in the construction of a garment for cost-saving purposes.
Innovative production technologies offer great opportunities to enhance these searches. An example would be the technology applied to the manufacture of seamless garments, offering options to mitigate environmental impact. This system avoids the consequent cutting and sewing processes, which speeds up production times (by 30 to 40%), reduces costs by eliminating final processes and reduces waste generation.
Companies like H&M are taking this to another level by developing technology that allows the recycling of garments with various compositions to create new pieces digitally designed and woven with almost no waste now. We share the video with you!
Creamodite has been researching and promoting the zero-waste fashion patternmaking and design method since 2016, with sustainable design methodologies capable of achieving zero waste garments by working with shapes. If you want to learn the method, you have the online course and if you already know it you can participate in the fashion alive design contest and you can participate in the catwalk performance in Madrid, Italy and Portugal.