Growing up surrounded by nature has always been a part of my life, spending my childhood in the countryside allowed me to discover the unknown world of wildlife. As I've gotten older, I've carried those memories forwards with me, they have become the foundation of my design philosophy and still continue to inspire me every day.
Building on from my design philosophy, I use sustainability as a way of researching my projects, choosing to experiment with what nature can provide. As a designer I think about the afterlife of my work not just the final product. Are my print/Dye methods polluting water? Will this method of production be responsible? Because of this a lot of my research looks at the compostability of natural fibres and how plant dyes can introduce missing nutrients certain fabrics lack in the compost process. All things eventually return to the ground, so how can fashion waste benefit the soil ecology.
It all began with a little red tin I found in my Nana's house when we were clearing out. Within this tin lay the records of my family's Danish past and the events that transpired for a relative I came to know as Great Uncle William. A diary amongst the collection spoke of his time on the front-line during WW2 and his contributions to the war effort. Family's photos, a postcard of their Danish hometown and military documents all make up this priceless piece of my past and my FMP will share this with you.
My FMP research led me to discover new information about my Danish relatives, I learnt that they moved to the UK during WW2 and my great uncle William became part of the Durham light infantry to fight in the conflict. I wanted to research the Waste not Want not Campaign in Britain which saw citizens utilising everything in the house to support the war effort. My research led me to re-use old teabags and turmeric rice water to develop natural dyes for my work, which features in the final product
The focus of Novello land & Sky has been to develop natural dyes from household waste which can be used to create responsible fashion. The project only uses natural products in its creation, utilising Hemp and linen fabrics which can breakdown more effectively than cotton to benefit the soils ecology when composted. The trims I’ve used also carry this value opting for Corozo button and Brass buckles which can be recycled. Following on from my research into my family history I was inspired by the creases in the military documents and wanted to re-create the aged look without using harsh dyes. This is where I used old tea bags to create a dye bath, I then folded my linen and soaked the edges of the fabric in the dye to create a Shibori effect. As a result the military smock is fully compostable. Looking at ways of using any offcuts I made as-well I decided to create a waist coat which used any scraps left over. Smaller pieces that I couldn’t use were soaked in the dye and placed on the compost to breakdown.