To see my own grandmother cook a chicken was a magical thing; she made use of every single scrap of the bird, knowing that the gizzards and bones were just as useful as the meat. That one chicken provided a week’s worth of meals, including a chicken soup made with the most flavorful stock I’ve ever tasted. Getting back to the “waste not, want not” mentality of our grandparents is a worthwhile challenge, because when it comes to being sustainable, our ancestors knew a thing or two. Such a resourceful way of thinking is returning to many industries, especially in fashion, where wasteful garment production is a major topic. In a stand against wastefulness, organic fashion brand Loomstate challenged students at Parsons to design a zero-waste garment, where every scrap of fabric is incorporated into the final product.
Andria Crescioni, the winner of the challenge, successfully maximized a single piece of cloth and created a durable, gray wool hoodie. Throughout the process, Crescioni discovered that her work benefited from such a specific restriction. “The width of the final fabric is one of the most important factors for proper execution,” she said in an interview with Co.Design. “It might sound really limiting, but for me, this process made the end result more unexpected and interesting.” Such a project is a strong example of how we can once again reclaim the values of the Greatest Generation. Before throwing out the last scraps, maybe we could all benefit from stepping back and realizing the potential of what we almost tossed in the garbage.
Chappell Ellison is a designer, writer and design writer. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she serves as a contributor for The Etsy Blog and design columnist for GOOD.