I am a fashion and textile design student whose collection is taking a different perspective towards sustainable fashion by exploring how food waste, fungi and old materials can be transformed into wearable garments or accessories.
The aim of my graduate project is to demonstrate that sustainability can be attractive. Natures Threads is centred around sustainable practices; by reusing waste material, from fabric to orange peels as well as attempting to grow a vegan leather from mycelium in an act to limit the environmental impact of my collection. My mind was opened by the role of fungi within our ecosystems, I was able to learn about the intelligence of nature and how it can be used to combat contemporary challenges and not just seen for aesthetic inspiration.
My project concept derived from the podcast between Joe Rogan and mycologist, Paul Stamets. Paul Stamets talks about his experiences and his research into fungi, this is when I knew that I wanted to base my graduation project around fungi in order to learn more about this amazing organism! I then fell into the rabbit hole of biodesign, biomaterials and biology and wanted to incorporate this into my project where I could.
I visited the exhibition, ‘Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi’ at Summerset House where it explores the potential of fungi thus allowing me to gather primary research for my project. As part of the exhibition there was an online talk on Youtube called ‘Fungi Futures: Movements in Mycelium’, this is where I first heard of the term BioDesign from Nancy Diniz who is the course leader of the Biodesign MA at Central Saint Martins, this encouraged me to experiment with new practices.
In reflection of the times, I wanted my garments to be a combination of simple, comfortable silhouettes with elements of fun details. Each garment will be made with high quality finishes in order to extend their life. In addition, using traditional tailoring techniques to replace adhesive interfacing with canvas. I have actively been exploring alternative ways to source my fabric as opposed to buying new. Buying second-hand fabric, using waste and repurposing materials from unrelated objects has allowed me to be creative, although usually seen as a restriction, it has enabled me to use materials I usually wouldn’t be able to work with or afford. Although many of the fabrics I have collected are synthetic, I am ensuring that less textile waste is sent to landfill by using it and piecing together scraps. I enjoy designing from the material and feel this gives me my collection its own identity and individuality.