Rhiannon Hunt is one of a new breed of designer who wants to stem the epidemic of “fast fashion.” The winner of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan’s inaugural “Extending the Life of Clothes” award, Hunt suggests modular design as a way to improve people’s emotional attachment to their garments. The Chelsea College of Arts graduate, who cribbed her inspiration from the built environment, proposes clothing with “apparent” methods of construction, such as box pleats, panels, waistbands, and hemlines that are joined with detachable fastenings.

Rhiannon Hunt, WRAP, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, modular fashion, modular clothing, Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, SCAP, Chelsea College of Arts

CRADLE TO CRADLE

“This enables wearers to easily adjust the size, fit, style and/or length of each garment themselves,” she says in her submission. “It is hoped that this added interaction, personalization, and creativity will help to strengthen the bond between wearer and garment.”

Hunt also recommends a cradle-to-cradle approach to both the fabrics and notions. Pairing organic fibers with three-dimensionally printed, biodegradable fastenings, for instance, allows a garment to be composted at the end of its functional life.

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Another tack to reduce textile waste, Hunt says, would be to adopt the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which embraces transience, imperfection, and beauty that develops with age.

For her designs, Hunt chose a warp-faced uneven twill with contrasting weft and waft threads. “This not only enables the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side of the same piece of fabric to be two different colors,” she says, “but it also means that with wear and tear the reverse color will begin to show, creating an aesthetic effect similar to a copper patina.”

+ Extending the Life of Clothes Design Award

+ Waste & Resources Action Programme