ma material futures

The textile industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world (Conca, Forbes, 2015). Wool production contributes towards this global pollution through methane emissions, chemical pollutants, as well as faecal contamination. Furthermore, the insatiable demand for fast fashion has decreased both the value of clothing and the making process. Consequently, unethical and unsustainable farming practices are promoted, contributing significantly to the environmental crisis of today.

Studies show that in order to have any chance of slowing down climate change, society must shift from the use of animal derived products to more sustainable alternatives. Sheep are among the most polluting animals that we consume, therefore we must turn to both more sustainable materials and more sustainable systems. Designing within the biological cycle of the Circular Economy, the waste of one industry is reconsidered as the input for another and redesigned back into the system.

‘Wool: Re Crafted’ presents a vegan alternative to wool by utilising the discarded waste leaves of pineapples from markets and juice bars around London and processing the fibres into a wearable material. By perceiving waste as a design opportunity, an existing by-product is made into a sustainable and biodegradable vegan textile. Through collaboration, the project uses craft as a catalyst to relocate the value of the material and revive the connections within the making process. At the core lies a more sustainable option to wool that is designed within the Circular Economy.

The project aims to address fundamental issues around the sustainability of the fashion industry, by turning to the materials around us and the crafts of local people. As a result, in questioning the environmental and ethical concerns of the use of animal products, the project challenges both the manner in which we consume as well as the manner in which we make.

Central Saint Martins Degree Show Two: Design, June 2019
YKSI Expo, May - July 2019
Milan Design Week, April 2019

Sandy Hilly, Spinner, The Sussex Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers
Rare Thread, Weave Studio

Linsay Robinson and Ayse Simsek, Weaving Experts, Central Saint Martins
Veronica Pravato, Circular Economy Lead, Stella McCarntey
Linda Crosa, Sustainable Fabric Technician, Stella McCartney
The London Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers

Conca, J. (2015) ‘Make Climate Change Fashionable - The Garment Industry Takes On Global Warming’, Fobes, 3 December. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2015/12/03/making-climate-change-fashionable-the-garment-industry-takes-on-global-warming/#7b845e9e79e4 (Accessed: 6 February 2019).

Tom Mannion, Photography
Paola Moglia, Weave Expert