Low carbon couture is about to hit the catwalk at an exclusive event organized by London's Kingston University, showcasing a joint project with the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Dresses made from living plants and a jacket padded with sawdust will be among the environmentally-friendly fashion on display as Kingston’s young designers unveil their concepts about the future of the industry and how it could reduce its carbon footprint.
They will present their projects to industry experts and environmentalists as well as the general public at an exclusive event on the eve of London Fashion Week.
The UEA-Kingston University collaboration focuses on sustainable luxury. The project, sponsored by InCrops based at UEA’s Adapt Low Carbon Group in Norwich, aims to raise awareness among young designers about the environmental impact of their work and encourage them to find ways to use bio-based and renewable materials to create luxury fashion.
This year students were asked to focus on wood. The brief reflected a growing demand for products made from UK-grown timber while also highlighting the value of natural resources and the potential consequences of endangering them. The young designers came up with a range of futuristic fabrics, garments, and designs, including dresses which incorporated living plants to purify the air and paneled coats insulated using waste sawdust.
Kingston University student Minka Lusse, who recently made the final of London Mayor Boris Johnson's Low Carbon Prize Awards with a quilted sawdust jacket, said the InCrops project was very challenging and tackled issues she believed were extremely important.
”I have always been interested in sustainability and the development of our environment. My final product was a winter jacket, filled with wood shavings for insulation. Finding a viable use for this common waste product allows the reduction of carbon emissions created during the manufacture of synthetic hollow fibres. Wood shavings can also be used as a substitute for feathers and downs, which are often sourced unethically through plucking of live poultry.”
Kingston University student Bez Baik, meanwhile, focused on adding functionality to clothing and textiles by integrating the purifying power of plants into her designs, fusing fashion and landscaping in dress-flowerbed hybrids.
Liliya Serazetdinova from InCrops said: “This show represents the culmination of another successful year of collaborative work. At InCrops, we nurture collaborations between science and art, as we believe the resulting work is a vital starting point for the next generation of innovative developments in technology.
“Designers have the power to reduce the carbon footprint of products through selecting materials with a lower environmental impact and exploring low carbon manufacturing processes, while focusing on the end user and the entire product’s life cycle.
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