Pat Guzik presents the sustainable fashion display No Waste Show and, alongside Monika Sosna-Pilarczyk from Fashion Revolution Poland, she urges us to change the way we think about today’s fashion industry.
Making a difference
Specialising in upcycling, Pat Guzik – fashion designer and graduate from the Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design (SAPU) where she now lectures – pays close attention to sustainable fashion and environmental protection. Her collection “Heaven Is A Place On Earth”, using materials from second-hand shops, offcuts and discarded fabric, received the main prize and the special prize during the EcoChic Design Award for emerging designers in Hong Kong (2016).
The task set for students of SAPU working on the No Waste Show under the designer’s guidance was to develop their own technique making the most of reclaimed fabrics to give them a new lease of life. Seeking materials, the authors reached for second-hand shops, discarded clothes, line ends and imperfect fabrics. They also used unusual textiles such as old curtains, parachutes, duvets and shower curtains. By deconstructing ready forms, the students created new structures and textures following the “zero waste” principle (sewing with little or no scraps).
“Our activities aim to improve the fashion industry by preparing future designers to think about sustainability from their earliest student days. For example, we explain that a single line on a design, often purely decorative, can lead to a further five processes and involve four more people to cut, iron, quilt etc., plus of course requires extra water and electricity. And on the industrial scale, this makes a real difference. I think that the show’s formula provides an incredible space for the students to find their very own ways of working with materials and seeking their own identity,” explains Guzik.
We are all responsible
Fashion Revolution is one of the partners of this year’s event, dedicated to fashion and revolution. Monika Sosna-Pilarczyk from Fashion Revolution Poland talks about the initiative founded in the UK in 2013.
“The organisation Fashion Revolution was started four years ago following the deadly collapse of the Rana Plaza clothes factory in Dhaka in Bangladesh. After it happened, a group of people from the fashion industry said: ‘Enough. Such tragedies have no place in the business world of the 21st century.’
So what are we doing? We’re certainly not revolutionaries. We mainly support the evolution of how we think about fashion. The fashion industry needs positive examples and practical advice on how to become more sustainable.
We are aware that change takes time, and the spread of corporate social responsibility is a positive step towards creating a more responsible industry. We hope that the CSR strategy encourages companies to take a close look at their delivery chains, since they have a direct impact on the industry; we can co-create a situation which respects workers’ rights and the environment.
The responsibility for change in the fashion industry lies with the consumers as well as the manufacturers, therefore our activities focus on building a dialogue between the fashion world and the shoppers, as promoted through the campaign #whomademyclothes.”
We have to start by changing our way of thinking – when reaching for a coveted item, let’s first consider who made it, under what conditions and at what cost! (Dorota Dziunikowska, "Karnet" monthly)