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Research inspires sustainable garment production

By UCOL on Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Sustainable garments exhibit

Fashion Designer and UCOL Lecturer Stephanie West is exhibiting her sustainable garment collection this week at the Community Arts Centre Gallery.

Developed from her Masters in Art and Design (AUT) research, Escapology: Transcending boundaries for flat patternmaking and design practice', the collection is centred on developing a sustainable method of garment production that produces minimal waste, using a design and patternmaking method that combines both draping and geometric shapes.

Ms West says that one of the drivers behind completing her Masters was to explore sustainable practices within the fashion industry.

"The rate in which we produce and consume clothes is no longer sustainable and it is important for research to be undertaken to find new ways that are. My research began through questioning my own practice in garment creation and the desire to investigate new and, in some cases, old possibilities within this area of creative garment cutting."

As a Lecturer on UCOL's Bachelor of Design and Arts in Whanganui, Ms West says her students were another motivator behind studying.

"Any learning I do further develops my personal practise and critical thinking, which flows through into the classroom and benefits my students."

"It has been great for students to see me working on my Masters; and seeing what I teach put into practice. I have enjoyed motivating students to think about sustainability, as they become the gatekeepers to good product design."

Prior to lecturing, Stephanie has worked with designer Jane Yeh in Auckland, in the design room for Pacific Brands and in the costuming industry within film and theatre.

Her passion has also lead her to volunteer overseas, teaching sewing to teenage girls in Mozambique and helping with product design for a business in Kolkata India, which provides employment to at risk women.

Escapology is on display in the Community Arts Centre Gallery, 19 Taupo Quay in Whanganui until the 2nd of July.

Enrolments are open now for the Bachelor of Design and Arts at Whanganui UCOL starting July.