Rare Combination of Research and Design for an Environmentally Responsible Clothing Line

Fashion designer Rachel Kollerup has launched a new research initiative that openly documents environmentally responsible, sustainable clothing to increase environmental awareness and promote increased transparency and consumer understanding within the fashion industry

Danish fashion designer Rachel Kollerup has recently teamed up with consulting engineers at FORCE Technology to develop a sustainable and environmentally responsible clothing line for women as part of her “Basically Black” collection.

The research project will take place over the course of the next year and will culminate in an irresistible collection of the designer’s basics. Complementing the collection’s overall design, FORCE Technology will evaluate the collection’s responsibility to the environment by drafting a life cycle assessment. A testament to the nation’s commitment to sustainability and environmental savoir faire, the Danish Authority for Research and Innovation has also pledged its support for the collaboration.

“Until today, I have argued in favor of environmentally responsible clothing collections by working off of general reports on certain materials or production conditions. This is an excellent technique that I would also recommend, but it says nothing specific about my product. That’s why it’s a dream come true to start researching deeper into my collection. I can only hope that the project will break down the barrier between the fashion industry and sustainability so that we may begin sharing knowledge about materials and production and make sustainable initiatives more of a reality. We may even prove that our choices are more sustainable than we thought,” Kollerup states.

“The clothing industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. As manufacturers, our environmental responsibility requires adjustments of our materials and production, but we must also be committed to taking care of the clothes once they have left the shop – a resource that is all too often wasted,” she continues.

Clothing rentals or subscriptions

A major requisite of Rachel Kollerup and FORCE Technology’s research is to think differently. Among the important issues to be considered is the possibility of creating a working deposit system for discarded clothes in order to recycle them and create new fabrics. There is also talk of creating a think tank on how to establish clothing “subscriptions” – returning clothes after wear to earn points and/or subscribing to collections and renting the clothes instead of owning them. These are merely examples of the important subjects on the research project’s agenda.

Rachel Kollerup’s new basic collection for women is a project where scientific research and design come together. The end result will play a significant role in the future of an environmentally responsible design platform.

“Environmental considerations must enter into the design phase early. In other words, design choices and their impact on the piece’s ecological footprint over the course of its life cycle need to be assessed. Producers must consider the most environmentally friendly choice. Is it a more environmentally friendly choice to choose a highly polluting textile, which, in turn, keeps for a long time and can be reused, or is it better to choose a fabric that does not pollute the environment in its production and can be washed at 20 ° C? This is what we have to analyze,” states Rasmus Nielsen, M.Sc., FORCE Technology.

The collection will be documented publicly with inputs from Rachel Kollerup and FORCE Technology in order to achieve a clothing line with maximum environmental accountability. The project will conclude with a presentation of the collection and a final, independent life cycle assessment (LCA) prepared by FORCE Technology.

The collection is tentatively scheduled to appear at the Designers Open in Leipzig in October 2013 and the Danish Fashion Delegation during London Fashion Week spring 2014.

Follow the project on www.rachelkollerup.com

For additional information about the project:
Rachel Kollerup, rk@rachelkollerup.com, telephone +45 4018 0755

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