Weeks 4 & 5, Fashion Week: Green is the new black, TENCEL ® testing

Last week was Copenhagen Fashion week, with the LCA project grabbing quite a bit of attention on DR.dk. The LCA project has gained a reputation as the most concrete project on sustainable fashion in terms of research and sharing of knowledge, having become a counterpart to SF’s green transformation fund. In fact, the Danish Fashion Institute has recently secured funds for this project from their brand new knowledge library:

http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Kultur/Oevrig_kultur/2013/08/07/155937.htm

As I previously mentioned, I was feeling quite discouraged about my prototype production waste percentage in week 3, so I decided to contact the manufacturer and find out their numbers. They reported that through use of air cutting, incinerators and smaller textile models they manage to finish with a waste percentage which is usually between 0.1 to 15%.

Once of the points FORCE Technology wants to explore is whether or not the burning of waste is equal or more economical in terms of energy consumption, particularly in comparison to sending out waste for “upcycling.”  For those who are not familiar with the term in the context of manufacturing, “upcycling” refers to using leftover pieces of waste as either filler, scrub for other fabrics or even to make new fabrics. If upcycling proves to be the energy consumption winner in this test, perhaps we can inspire the sewing room to get more benefits from waste through innovation. If, on the other hand, we can compile definitive data on incineration, in that case it would be as environmentally responsible as upcycling itself.

During my regular afternoon walk with Eddie through the forest, I had a little chat with Ole Alm, MSc PhD. He had a lot to say about energy consumption and conservation through waste incineration like I previously mentioned. One comment really stuck with me: “In Denmark, waste isn’t just an environmental problem; Danish waste incineration plants use the energy creating from incineration to produce both heat and electricity, making them a major supplier for the Danish people.”

I have been keeping busy between designing, sewing and prototype testing for the collection, plus I have also had the pleasure this past week of working in TENCEL ® on an adorable summer dress. Here’s a sneak peek:

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I’m happy to report that TENCEL ® is even better than anticipated, which says a lot considering its excellent reputation. It is soft, comfortable and most important, stain resistant – a small detail which is surprisingly important when said dress is white.  TENCEL ® feels great against the skin, and more importantly it feels natural and healthy. Plus, in this case I am using TENCEL ® in its raw, white form so I can proudly present my dress with absolutely zero dyes or bleaching.

When wet, TENCEL ® shrinks a bit and then stretches out again once it dries. It does need to be thoroughly ironed after washing, but keeps a good shape with long term use.

Next week I will be packing and sending out my first prototypes, off to the sewing stage. Plus, FORCE Technology will be sending first data samples for LCA clothing screening.

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Portræt af Rachel Kollerup

Mode og grafisk designer med speciale i miljøansvar. Rachel Kollerup arbejder med forskningsbaserede projekter, så som det danske udviklingsprojekt med hamp. Med MAKE THAT CHANGE inddrager Rachel Kollerup forbrugeren i forhold til at nedsænke klimaaftrykket ved tøjforbrug. Ved eget tøjmærke præsenteres publikum for miljøansvarligt tøjdesign.