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Zero Waste Project: part 1

Well, blog, it’s been a while (probably 2 years) but here we go - time for a revival!


At the start of this year I began a project funded by VACMA (Visual Art Craft Maker Award) which allowed me to dedicate time each week to experimenting with techniqies and processes to use my scraps in a creative way. One day a week for 8 weeks I was able to immerse myself in the world of rescuing scraps!



Incase you don’t already know, I’m a slow fashion designer dedicated to creating truly sustainable pieces. I use only pre-loved and vintage textiles in my work, so I would condiser it to be pretty sustainable and unique slow fashion to begin with. But I wanted to make it even more so in a very considered way, by creating zero waste processes to bring into my practice as standard. When I select each piece of vintage fabric, I honestly have so much love for these beautiful textiles that have lived many lives and had many stories, I couldn’t bear to throw any pieces of them away!


So as a result, I’ve been saving my scraps from every garment I’ve made over the past 2-3 years. And that’s an overwhelming amount of scraps. More than two super jam packed bags for life worth of tiny scraps plus more bags of larger pieces that I had previously sorted into colours. I knew I wanted to make use of them somehow, so this project gave me the time and space to figure out just how to do that!



Week One began with research, followed by a “why did I think this was a good idea” moment which involved a full day of sorting through piles of tiny scraps. Seperating them into sewable / too small to sew and then by colour. When I was too bored of sorting to go on (drama queen, I know), I began cutting the odd shapes into easier to work with squares, recangles or triangles.




Week Two, I finally got to do some sewing and began patchworking pieces together in colour stories. Followed by yet more sorting through the rest of the scraps. I really wondered where I was going with it at this stage. But seeing the patchwork pieces coming together felt like progress!



On Week Three, I continued patchworking the random sized pieces in more colour stories, saught out some secondhand tulle and organza for the next experiments and embroidered onto the patchwork pieces. I wanted the embroidery I added to pull out and compliment the snippets of origional embroidery rescued in the tablecloth scraps now displayed in the new patchwork textile.


I also made a card for a lovely customer's special birthday using one of my patchwork pieces, adding her initial and a floral design in embroidery to make this into a card - or future patch!



In part 2 I’ll share another of my zero waste project experiements, check back soon or join the mailing list in the website footer below to stay in the loop.


Did you find this interesting? Please do leave a comment below with your thoughts!


Speak soon,


Jen x

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