Nov 24, 2016
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‘Designers should adapt digital sample to reduce waste’

Nov 24, 2016

Designers need to adapt to new operating models for sampling and embrace digital prototyping: this was one of the key takeaways from Beyond Green, a signature circular textiles event that concluded recently in Amsterdam. The programme was organised by Circle Economy, a social enterprise in association with Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI).

A participant at the Beyond Green conference in Amsterdam - AMFI

The event witnessed the participation of AMFI students and people from the fashion, textile and other related industries. The case studies that were presented during the programme also focused on challenges and solutions for reducing textile waste.

During the day, there were several discussions on the role of design, technology, businesses, and consumers in achieving zero wastage in the fashion industry.

“The one thing we cannot waste anymore is time. We have a window of opportunity to change the way we work on this planet,” said Gwen Cunningham, lead of the Circle Textiles programme at Circle Economy and coordinator for Sustainability at AMFI.

Supporting digital prototyping, Dr Kate Goldsworthy, design researcher at the Textiles Futures Research Center, showed the audience a stack of design strategies for a zero-waste world.

“We have to stop thinking of products as static, stationary objects, we have to think of them as journeys,” she said.

AMFI graduates, Tamara Koch and Zil Vostalova, had also come up with a solution to reduce the amount of waste produced during the sampling stage of designing a fashion line. Furthermore, the duo introduced the concept of working “phygitally”, which enables virtual prototyping by using softwares such as Clo3D and Lectra.

Isaac Nichelson, chief sustainability and marketing officer at Recover -- one of the world’s leading mechanical upcyclers -- was also a key speaker at the event.

Nichelson informed the audience about the potential of closed loop textile recycling and that the synergies between mechanical and chemical recyclers will play a crucial role in achieving a zero-waste future. According to Nichelson, technologies to use closed loop textile recycling exist, but they need investment and support to scale.

Consumer awareness will also promote a zero waste fashion industry.

“In a circular future, consumers will be the raw material suppliers and play a crucial role in the supply chain,” said Cyndi Rhoades, founder and CEO of Worn Again, a start-up that deals with recycling of textile waste. 

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