Zero Waste - Fabric Tetris

Zero Waste - Fabric Tetris

This is my favourite version of adult Tetris (a few other types include moving furniture in small spaces and parking a vehicle in that parking lot by the 711 on 10th and Alma.)

Fabric Tetris!

What is it? Saving all of the bits and ends of fabric leftovers and eventually when you have enough, sewing them together! With this quilted-like piece of fabric, you are then free to make anything you want with it :)

I first became interested in working with leftovers when I was away at school in Florence. The waste that I saw every day at school was a bit overwhelming and I really wanted to incorporate, more than ever, the principle of zero waste into my work.

It is SO important as designers that we make mindful choices.

We are in control of what fabrics we use and what dyes have been used on those fabrics. As consumers we must be as equally on the ball, as researching and being aware of what we are buying is extremely powerful. What does sustainable even mean these days? I find it ultra confusing. While it is kickass when brands say they are doing things sustainably, it is important as consumers we ask what exactly they mean, how are they doing this, and what they are changing. It is not enough anymore to just believe what our favourite brands are telling us. Where is the transparency that is the proof of them taking responsibility?

Many of my zero waste designs were inspired by wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic and concept of finding beauty in things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. I'm also inspired by Japanese boro textiles, referring to fabrics that have been mended with care and passed on through generations and generations.

I worked on this piece of textiles by hand for 2 months, stitching, dyeing and print-making each of the fabrics that I used (they were saved from the bins around school back in Paris). I found it to be a lovely finished product but a really slow process for making clothing.

It has been really fun to evolve this into a more efficient process! First, with leftover bits and bops of fabric, I dye them, shibori them, and/or block print them. Once I have a box of enough leftover fabrics that are ready to be worked with, I cut them into random rectangular and square pieces. Next, rather than doing it all by hand, I use my trusty sewing machine.

Serging the scraps together and deciding the colour combination is my favourite part! Slowly but surely the scraps grow into a piece of textile that you can then cut into what you are making.

See, I've added texture back in by sewing the patchwork fabric with elastic thread!

Hello cute lil zero waste skirt, welcome into existence and thank you for causing no harm :)

Elody wears a scrap top :)

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