April 24 marks the day of the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This horrible event opened the eyes of many people around the world and has become internationally known as Fashion Revolution Day, a day to raise awareness for ethically made clothing and remember the lives that were lost. On April 24th, 2015, over 71 countries participated in the online social media campaign to demand supply chain transparency by wearing their clothing inside out, tagging their favourite brands and asking them #whomademyclothes.
Zero Waste Gown
Our Zero Waste Gown on the runway of Revolution 2015
Zero Waste Upcycling
This is a form of repurposing, or upcycling, of a used garment and recreating it into something new without having any excess fabric wastage. All fabric scraps are carefully planned and incorporated in the design of the new garment. You can see the planned cut pieces on the top right image.
Zero Waste Organic Sateen Gown
This dress was carefully created using a zero waste method of draping. It started as 2 yards of 60" wide undyed GOTS-certified organic cotton, was designed through draping over a judy, and sewn together using all of the fabric scraps. This method is very tedious and requires organized pre-planning before any cut to the fabric is made.
The fabric made to create this garment is one of the most sustainable types. Not only was the cotton organically grown without pesticides or harmful fertilizers, it was not dyed with harsh chemicals either. The fabric has a semi sheen to it and is very soft at hand.
Zero Waste Gown: Process Work
Here you see some of the steps used to create the design of the zero waste gown. Many intricate pleats were used to shape and flatter the figure, without cutting into the fabric and throwing tiny scraps into the garbage. No fabric was wasted to create this garment.
Upcycling & Pre-Consumer Waste
Before & After: Upcycled Top and Scrap Skirt.
Upcycling refers to the repurposing of used clothing into something new. The dress shirt on the right has been upcycled into a new, more modern version.
The black skirt is made entirely from the fabric scraps seen on the bottom left. These scraps came from a Ryerson student, and was carefully recreated into a new wrap skirt.
Ryerson Revolution Day Campaign
Ryerson students collaborated and hand-sewed 8" x 8" squares of scrap fabric together for Fashion Revolution Day. Each square has a hand-written question or statement about ethically made clothing and demanding brand transparency. This was presented at OCAD and was open to the public to participate with their own question and fabric square.
Not only is sustainable fashion a concern, but the way people are treated to make clothing must be acknowledged as well. As fashion consumers, we have the opportunity to change this and demand brand transparency. Educating ourselves and making conscious clothing purchases from brands we trust are ensuring their garments are ethically and sustainably made is the first step towards change.
Founder & Designer Bianca Bellantoni presented to 250 first year Ryerson students about Textile Waste.
Textile waste is a serious problem that is almost never acknowledged. We see many beautiful garments in clothing stores, runway shows, even school projects. But what we don't see is the amount of fabric wastage from each garment.
Here is a bag fill with fabric scraps from one Ryerson design student after 1.5 years in the program. There are roughly 70-80 design students per year at Ryerson, creating a minimum of 4 garments per semester. Imagine how big this bag would be if we added the fabric scraps from every fashion student, in every design school, in Ontario...in Canada...in the world... it's pretty scary to think about, right?