Creative Technology & Sustainable Fashion
A personal favourite from mozfest was this stand- a hackathon exploring alternatives to the zipper using creative technology. It was run by Juliane Kahl, a design lecturer teaching Responsible Fashion, Smart Textiles and Sustainability at Acadamie Design & Mode, Hamburg.
Juliane told me about the project’s background, sharing her growing concerns surrounding today’s fast fashion consumer model where retailers are introducing new products and trends for consumers to latch onto. She described how a growing demand for cheap, fast, quantitive fashion is encouraging major clothing brands to move their manufacturers from Bangladesh to factories in Ethiopia; where workers have fewer rights and poorer pay.
She made an interesting point on the difficulty of following supply chance when products are made in Ethiopia. Unlike workers in Bangladesh, few Ethiopian workers hce access to communication tools like Facebook and Twitter. This means that workers don’t have the option of using social media and sites like wiki leaks to share concerns on matters like pay and working conditions with people beyond their employers.
Juliane also spoke about the environmental issues assosciated with fast fashion. She described a very simple problem with most garments- zippers. The problem with zippers is that they are so easily broken and once broken the item becomes unwearable. Reperations are often costly, resulting in them being thrown away.
To approach this, Julianne began exploring how creative technologies like 3D printing and laser cutting can be used to "hack the zipper" and create more sustainable alternatives.