There is a lot of eco-chatter these days about ‘adaptive reuse’ and ‘reclaimed materials’ in green design, particularly in the realm of fashion-forward garments and accessories. Estethica, London Fashion Week’s recent sustainable design showcase featured some great examples of recycled/repurposed materials in designs that are light in footprint but substantial in style. One of the bright young stars of Estethica, Mark Liu, has taken sustainable fashion one step further with his ‘zero-waste’ fabric patterns and eco-designs that do just that, waste not a scrap of fabric. Liu’s pieces are yet another example of why Central Saint Martins grads are true innovators, as his next generation of pattern making is both wearable and cutting edge.
According to Liu, approximately 15% of fabric is typically wasted in the pattern cutting and sewing of each garment manufactured. Liu has created a method of cutting a jigsaw pattern from a single piece of fabric in order to create all of the components to be assembled in his design. (Since fabric widths are standardized, there is a tremendous amount of waste that is generated with each pattern cut.) The designer views his technique as being an “eco-efficiency” that has been completely overlooked in the industry as well as in the training of young designers in art and fashion programs. He also advocates using engineered screen printing in order to pre-draw patterns on fabrics to be cut.
Mark Liu‘s work will soon be featured in the forthcoming book, Sustainable Fashion: Why Now, by Fairchild Books. We look forward to seeing more from this young designer and learning in the process how to reinvent the patterns and methods of the garment industry without sacrificing style.