Updated: Feb 24, 2021
How do Designers Create a more Sustainable Product?
So it starts with the fabric selection? Yes that's a major component but really, It starts before that with intention, that dream in the designers mind, the ethos and feel, the silhouette and the style, the end purpose, the joy.
Design leads the brand image and to a large extent the product specifications, cut fit, fabric and finish. Especially in the world of fast fashion with drops every fortnight it's important, to take a deep breath now and again to consider what we are making and the repercussions of those decisions on people and the planet.
Design has 80% Influence
It's an often quoted statistic that "a designer has around 80% influence" on the final environmental footprint of a product but this fails to take into consideration post design decisions made by production to cut costs mostly and factories to increase throughput or balance production.
However, let's not underestimate the influence of a designer and the necessity to create consciously in order to make the most sustainable product possible. Consider the industries which supply the components. The fabric producers, accessories suppliers, dyers and printers, machinists, packers, there are so many lives touched by every aspect of the design.
Style and Sustainability
If we put sustainability, then quality of components, at the core of the design, style and the rest follows. When we want to make a good quality garment that reflects our brand ethic, builds on the customer base and brings joy, we can't just stick that on at the end.
Quality must be instilled from the outset in the design and carry through all materials and components processes until the final QC check and so must sustainability. You start to realise the power of conscious fashion design and its potential to influence on sustainability and the environmental footprint of fashion.