Monday, July 19, 2010

Updated: zero-waste and less waste designers

Update August 2nd: to be as transparent as possible on this blog, I should note I've joined the Amazon Associates program. I will only link to books I have personally found useful and worth buying.

Update July 27th 2010: Sometimes those closest to you are the easiest to ignore or forget. Very much part of this list should be Fiona Buckingham of Kyotap by Fiona Buckingham. We've been friends for over 14 years and there are no bounds to the respect I feel towards Fiona's work. Fucken oops!
Last August I attempted something of a list of zero-waste designers that I was aware of; since then a few more have come to my attention so here's an update on that list. I also omitted some researchers because I've probably taken their work for granted for too long. Please don't hesitate to email me if you know of someone not listed here. This list also aims to include research on the topic that precedes current projects. As for the purpose of this list? I hope it will initiate interest in the included designers and researchers' work. I'll keep updating this as comments come in and as my poor memory decides to remind me of someone.

The pioneers
Dorothy Burnham: Cut My Cote from 1973 was a seminal text that summarised decades of Burnham's research into cuts of traditional dress.
Claire McCardell: Bernard Rudofsky included some of McCardell's work in Are Clothes Modern? in 1947 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. My understanding is that only a few of McCardell's pieces were zero-waste (or close to).
Bernard Rudofsky: He put some of his research into practice in Bernardo Separates, a clothing line in the early 1950s.
Zandra Rhodes
Yeohlee Teng
Julian Roberts: a pioneer for me in the sense that he has for a long time discussed fashion design, patterncutting and sewing as a holistic one.
Materialbyproduct: the company doesn't - wisely, I might add - make zero-waste their primary selling point but the respect for fabric is evident in their collections going back to 2004.
Alabama Chanin: while the designs aren't necessarily zero-waste, the zero-waste policy that governs everything the company does is a delight to read.

More recent, in no particular order:
Holly McQuillan
Carla Fernandez/Flora 2 (Download the book!)
Mark Liu - check out the article by Mark in Ecouterre
Tara St James/Study NY
Jennifer Whitty
David Telfer
Andrew Hague
Caroline Priebe - she'll be the first to tell you she's not a zero-waste designer but she knows more about it than most.
Samuel Formo
Tiffany Ouyang

Also important to look into:
Center for Pattern Design/Sandra Ericson. Why? Here's one reason.
Fashion Incubator/Kathleen Fasanella. Designing manufacturable things is crucial and there is no better place for fashion on the topic than this. Her book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturingis a must.
All the old texts on world dress by Max Tilke, like Costume patterns and designs: A survey of costume patterns and designs of all periods and nations from antiquity to modern times
The wonderful books by Janet Arnold.
Winifred Aldrich's Fabric, Form and Flat Pattern Cutting
Thayaht's tuta.
Betty Kirke's Madeleine Vionnet

Credit should also go to Lynda Grose at CCA and Arti Sandhu at Columbia College Chicago for encouraging students to engage with zero-waste.

The bottom line is, keep your eyes open and have fun with it!


dorie said...

Hi Timo, since I found your blog zero-waste is on my mind - trying to fold patterns and making the most of one piece of fabric by sewing or felting. So thaks for this huge list for more inspiration.

Timo Rissanen said...

Glad to hear Dorie!

Caroline Skelton Priebe said...

You should actually get paid by Amazon. There is this thing on Amazon you can sign up for called the Associates Program. Every time you put up a link and someone buy the book via your link you get a cut.

Edie's Fashion Factory said...

Wow, what a brilliant list. I try to be eco in my DIY'ing but zero-waste sounds beautiful. You've got me on the path to checking into it further.
Thanks for setting the bar higher!

Timo Rissanen said...

Thanks Caroline, will definitely look into it - it might pay for my subway ride once a year :) (Back on Aug 8, will message shortly via other avenues to set up a meet x)

Edie, thanks for the comment, and glad to hear!

Heather Klar said...

So fantastic to see this kind of challenge have a new eco-friendly purpose. At school, I worked in a costume shop dedicated to making clothes as those who originally had would have made them, and almost all cultures began with manipulation of squares and rectangles so as to minimize costs. I still enjoy zero-waste as a theme and am often cited as having a "Japanese" approach, when really, it's the original poor man's approach! Three-dimensional puzzlecrafting! Will have to study up on your zero-waste masters and thank you for highlighting the brilliance of the craft!