Week 1: Higg index, consumer responsibility, sneak preview of the first prototype

This past week has been unusually – and pleasantly – warm for summer in Denmark, so the other day when I sat down for my initial meeting with Rasmus Nielsen, M.Sc., of FORCE Technology, we were both more than happy to take refuge under the shade of a tree and cool off a bit. Needless to say, the outdoors seemed quite the appropriate setting to discuss our “Basically Black” collaboration, which is a environmentally responsible and sustainable clothing collection meant to adapt to different types of wardrobes, suitable for both day and night wear.

For me, “sustainable” doesn’t only pertain to the materials or the manufacturing process. Design plays an important role in the process, and in this case part of the challenge is choosing the best seam placement for minimal waste of fabric and materials without compromising fit.

We will be using the Higg Index, a self-assessment standard for environmental and social impact created by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, to create a “final score” for each piece in the collection. In addition, we seek to thoroughly present and explain the five distinct life cycles of a garment: materials, production,  transport, use and finally disposal.

With the knowledge and resources we currently have at our disposal, we designed and produced this collection with environmental responsibility, ethics and sustainability to the best of our ability. However, to make a significant impact we need to affect the entire cycle of a garment. For a collection to be truly sustainable, awareness must stem from concept to production, all the way down to the consumer. We have to make a change to our overall mentality when it comes to clothing, and what we do with it once we’ve decided not to wear it anymore. Our work as environmentally responsible designers continues even after production has finished, items have sold and the clothing is in use. We are currently running a think tank, brainstorming ideas for worn clothing running from subscriptions and depots to innovative hand-down ideas.

I am currently in the process of designing the newest collection. While I still have plenty to finish, here’s a sneak peek of one key garment: The Little Black Dress.

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After receiving many requests, I have also expanded the collection to include menswear. The collection is essentially a men’s version of “Basically Black,” focusing on timeless pieces such as tailored pants, shirts and t-shirts made with luxurious, sustainable fabrics.

Next week we are off to Paris, where I am sure to get a much-needed dose of inspiration. I’ll be back soon to discuss my fashion adventures in the City of Lights.

 

 

 

 

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