Fashion Tries on Zero Waste Design

A recent article in the New York Times, Fashion Tries on Zero Waste Design by Stephanie Rosenbloom, covers the notion of Zero Waste clothing design. The article states that fifteen to twenty percent of today’s fabric winds up in our landfills because it is cheaper to throw away the scraps rather than recycle them. To combat this, fashion schools are incorporating the idea of using all of the pieces of cloth to make garments, leaving nothing to waste.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

The concept of recycling and reusing what others would view as trash is central to the Steampunk movement and Steampunk makers. Its interesting to observe the practices we have been employing for years as independent artists now being taught in design schools to cut down on waste.

This is a good example of how the green aspect of Steampunk philosophy is becoming mainstream. I don’t have the feeling of revulsion that swept over me with regard to the Disney collectibles, though both are using aspects of Steampunk in their own ventures. Here’s the difference: where Disney just manipulates the aesthetic without regard for its founding philosophy in the attempt to make money, design schools that use our methods to lower the impact of clothing designers upon our earth are working in conjunction with the true spirit of Steampunk.

2 comments on “Fashion Tries on Zero Waste Design

  1. Laura says:

    Another great post on Steampunk methods. I really enjoyed what you had to say about Disney too. Sometimes it makes me cringe when “going green” is hailed as desirable because its kind of the cool thing to do, but then I remind myself that whatever it takes to get us to a more responsible way of living is the thing that really matters. I’m fairly new to Steampunk and a huge draw for me is the creativity and inventiveness of it. I love to see how people find so many recyclable uses for objects and create amazing results. Always enjoy your posts!

    • aeflint says:

      Laura, thanks for stopping by again! 🙂 I always enjoy hearing from people about the posts.

      I know the whole “going green” movement going mainstream can frustrate people who really care about it, but if enough people start doing it because it is “fashionable” or whatnot, it still makes a difference. Fortunately, the earth doesn’t care if we save via trends and fashion statements!

      And allow me to welcome you to Steampunk. We were all new at one point and came with different interests that sparked the initial attraction. I’m glad you’ve found a home in Steampunk. 🙂

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