Rebirth: An Exploration of Circular Fashion

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Olivia Satkiewicz


With increased pressure for companies within the fashion industry to implement more sustainable practices, the problem of greenwashing as a way to monetize eco-initiatives has become common among fast fashion giants. In order to make significant change and mitigate the industry’s environmental impact, the problem must be re-imagined to eliminate the very concept of waste and rather transition to a circular economy. The following research examines the concept of closed loop recycling and how sustainable practices can be implemented on a large scale. It highlights several companies that have set a precedent for the future of circular fashion as well as discusses the Cradle to Cradle model and how it translates today. The latter half outlines the process of designing a garment for the circular economy using the concepts detailed in the research portion. The final result shows how a product can be designed in a way that appeals to both the trends of the season and the circular economy by using post-production fabrics and materials to eliminate waste entirely.

Comments from Mentors

Olivia was a wonderful student and she did some good research on sourcing fabric from dead in sources.  This is an area of the field that is getting new attention in the light of current sustainability efforts.  Olivia’s project considered the complete fashion cycle from consumer research to completing the project.  I hope that her research sparks interest and encourages students to actually participate in sustainable sourcing of their dress.

— Stephanie Bailey

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College of Fine Arts