How Patchwork Can Lead to Sustainability in Fashion
By: Mireya Perez
Patchwork was born in a time when there were few resources available to make new clothing. This made it necessary for everyday people to make garments by putting together different fabrics or patterns. By the 19th century, patchwork was established as a decorative showpiece and used as bedding. Its use for clothing didn’t become mainstream until more recent times; Or don’t you remember your grandma asking why did you pay for jeans that already have patches on them?
Today, patchwork has become a basic item for many reasons. The truth is, fast fashion in the last few years has contributed immensely to the cloth waste we all produce. Overbuying garments and wrong disposing of them are some of the main causes. Even though patchwork has become mainstream, the material used in its manufacturing is new.https://www.instagram.com/p/CFkqY0KhiwC/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=2bd68ef2-6755-493b-b4b3-4805c2a7eaac
The role of the fashion industry in the global carbon emissions is well-known, yet the waste of cloth and the immense damage that creating new pieces produces on the environment could be reduced by old-fashioned patchwork. The idea is simple: if brands used the remnants of their collections for new pieces with patches in their design, the amount of waste would be reduced. Reusing is the key.
This concept has already been tested by some young designers. Priya Ahluwalia, the owner of Ahluwalia Studio, is one of the talents finding a way to stop the growth of fashion waste. In an interview with Vice, she stated, “It is hard to think of an absolute solution without saying that all new production of clothes should just stop altogether. We need to turn fashion’s waste back into clothes.” Her 2018’s collection, based on this premise, was a vast step in the right direction.
Like her, many other environmentally conscious designers are beginning to incorporate reused patchwork into their collections, but it is still not a common practice in the industry. Do you believe that patchwork could become a trend in the path leading to sustainability? We want to hear your thoughts!