Sustainable fashion : a roadmap for the future

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Maxie, Devann K.
Birk, Valerie J.
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Thesis (B.?.)
Honors College
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When I was first learning to sew an easy way to practice was to take old clothes, cut them up, and sew them into a new garment. This was good because I didn't have to spend money on fabric, and I could make new and unique garments to wear. As I got older, developed my sewing skills, and eventually decided to major in Apparel Design, I continued making clothing in this way.

When it came time to decide what I wanted to design for my senior studio line, which I named Urban Bohemian, I decided to make a line completely from repurposed clothing; not using anything new, even for fastenings and trim. I made this choice not only because it would save me money on fabric and other notions, but also to challenge myself to design great garments with clothing I already had. As I created my new line of clothing, I also researched sustainability in the fashion industry.

In the following pages I focus mainly on the material side of sustainable fashion; how designers and consumers can cut down on the fabric waste that ends up in landfills every year. However, there are other ways businesses and individuals can contribute to sustainability as well, like cutting down on product miles due to shipping or educating consumers on energy saving laundering techniques.

Sustainable fashion has been a hot topic on the fringes of fashion for several years, but in order to make a difference it needs to become a mainstream practice. Fashion has become a disposable commodity, and the excess fabric waste the industry generates is not sustainable for future generations. Fashion is a massive, global industry -everyone wears clothing -and a real push towards sustainability would impact the environment and the future of the planet immensely.