I would like to introduce a local traditional tapestry craft from south Tunisia. The Kilim is a typical rug mainly made out of wool. Since this material is not widely available and often not in large color palette, craftswomen usually take secondhand clothes, unravel them and use wool threads on Kilim weaving. This gives Kilim rugs a particular soft touch due to used wool.
Did the craftswomen think about sustainability when sourcing raw materials? I don’t think so, but they definitely know its value and how to get.
On another level, and as a Fashion Design educator, my students are supposed to make internships in local manufacturing companies. Most of the traineeship projects focus on fabric and leather waste. This is mainly due to the fact that most of apparel/leather goods manufactures receive predesigned collections only meant to be produced.
Quite often, recycling fabric/leather waste is the only topic left to students. The latter often feel limited that they have to work with predefined materials and shapes. These restrictions soon become stimulating when students realize their collection would have upstream advantage with a limited raw material cost. The satisfaction of being a creative solution provider rather than another fancy creative Stylist is also a great satisfaction.
These two examples might be food for thought regarding sustainability. Is it possible to rethink fashion culture without questioning consumerism and overproduction?