Sourcing Fabrics for New Designs from Post-Consumer Textiles
The purpose of this paper is to identify two reasons for upcycling or redesigning garments beyond sustainability; the first reason is to source fabrics that are otherwise unavailable through retail fabric outlets. The designer for this study utilized garments purchased from second-hand and thrift stores as source materials for a group of womens tops. The purpose for using post-consumer clothing was to source unique materials the designer was unable to find at retail fabric merchants, both online and traditional brick and mortar. Another reason to adopt the approach of using post-consumer textiles as source materials for desconstructed R-T-W is the low cost. A large skirt, for example, may have two yards of materials within it and cost just a fraction of what a retail fabric store would charge for a two yard length of similar material. The designer’s objective was to produce white tops featuring varieties of embroidered cotton eyelet and similar embroidered cottons. While mixing many different fabrics within one garment could be overwhelming, the designer limited the complexity of each garment by keeping color uniform. This study provides relevant insights into uses of post-consumer textiles as source materials for creating new garments. Beyond sustainable practices of upcycling or redesign, there are the benefits of low cost and a broader variety of fabrics available.