A Guide To Sustainable Design Techniques For All Budding Designers

Published/Updated on:
September 15, 2023
Fashion Business

Are you a budding fashion designer looking to make a positive impact on the world? As the fashion industry continues to grow and evolve, there is an increasing need for designers who prioritise sustainability and ethical practices. As more brands and businesses are recognising the importance of sustainability, they are actively seeking out designers who share these values as well. 

Additionally, as consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchase decisions, there is a growing demand for sustainable and ethically-produced fashion. So, here are some sustainable design techniques you can learn through fashion designing courses online that will not only help you create beautiful and functional designs but also make a positive impact on the world around us.

1. Zero Waste Pattern Cutting

Did you know that about 15% of textiles that were supposed to be used for clothing end up on the cutting room floor? Imagine how this 15% could have been used as a complete pattern piece on its own! By knowing your garment’s exact dimensions, you can carefully plan how to cut your textiles efficiently like a jigsaw puzzle. Think outside the box by laying the pattern upside down, backwards, or even diagonally to reduce any unused materials. 

2. Seamless Garment Construction

This technique involves using advanced knitting or weaving machines to create a garment without any seams, thus eliminating the need for excess fabric and reducing waste. The garment is knitted or woven as a single piece, eliminating the need for cutting and sewing individual pieces together which not only reduces waste but also saves time and energy during the production process. Also since there are no seams, the garment tends to be more comfortable and durable, as there are fewer points of stress that can lead to tearing or fraying.

3. Upcycle Materials

This approach takes by-products, waste and disused materials or products and transforms them into something new of better quality. Re-using materials that already exist means saving energy, water, chemicals and other resources used to make new materials. You can source these materials from deadstock fabric (leftover fabric from mills and garment factories), or old, unused clothing that you repurpose. 

4. Design for Disassembly (Dfd)

Design for disassembly refers to easily taking apart your design at the end of its life so that different parts of the design can be repaired, reused or recycled. This technique allows the design to be easily assembled and most likely require fewer materials, meaning greater cost-savings and reduced environmental footprint. 

5. Design for Longevity

The smallest design choices can impact the product’s shelf life and an individual’s decision to not wear a certain clothing anymore. So, the best way to keep your designs from ending up in landfills is by designing them to last, to be cared for and to be reused or recycled. 

For example, using durable and high-quality materials such as organic cotton, linen or recycled fabrics, can greatly impact the longevity of a garment. Choosing fabrics that can withstand wear and tear, as well as multiple washes, ensures that the garment will last longer and not fall apart after just a few wears. You can even incorporate design elements that allow for adjustments or repairs, such as adjustable waistbands or interchangeable buttons. 

6. 3D Prototyping

With 3D prototyping, you can create digital versions of your designs, which can be manipulated and edited using specialised software. This not only saves time and money on physical prototyping but also has a positive impact on the environment by reducing waste. Global collaboration is also made easier, as designers can share their digital files with manufacturers located in different countries which eliminates the need for shipping physical prototypes back and forth, saving both time and money while reducing the carbon footprint of the production process

You would also be able to make edits to the garment on the software with just the click of a button, compared to making physical prototype changes, which can involve waste.

If you are interested in fashion design and would like to take a short fashion design course online or be professionally certified in Singapore, do check out TaF.tc’s apparel design modules. Some of the speciality courses include 

To know more about these courses or if you have any other fashion-related enquiries, do contact TaF.tc today to speak with our experts

Nicole Toh

Hi! I'm Nicole. I am a Junior Marketing Executive in TaF.tc. Look forward to more blogs and content coming up from me! I love a good cup of tea, some light exercise and listening to music! I am always open to a thought provoking conversation, so hit me up if you've something you want to debate on! 

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