Fashion, design & sustainability // teacher / researcher / designer

Jean Genie

Fashion, Sustainability

With all the talk of recycling and upcycling and so on, I was intrigued by a DVD I watched the other day featuring Charlene O’Brien, a Western Australian fashion designer. One particular process was using denim offcuts to create a yarn.

The scrap denim was colour-sorted, then shredded, then respun into a sturdy yarn (like an 8 ply) that is then knitted or crocheted into new garments. She made the point that denim is heavily processed with dyes and finishes that mean that even though it is a natural fibre, it will not biodegrade. The resulting knitted garments had that lovely denim colour, ranging from indigo through to washed-out blues.

To take the idea further, the yarn that has been created this way could be claimed again from the knitted garments, and then knitted once more into fresh garments. To me, it is a start towards a cradle-to-cradle design model.

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