Zero Waste Design Online
We are an international collective that develops online educational resources in the field of zero waste design and systems thinking for fashion.
ZWDO Collective operates a not-for-profit organisation
officially registered in France under the status Association Loi 1901
The Cutting Waste Issue
80% of the garment's climate impact (CO2)
is generated by the fabric.
However, whilst it is estimated that the industry produces approximately 400 billion square metres of textile every year, an average of 15-25% is wasted on the cutting room floor and the vast majority of this is not recycled or reused.
Instead, it ends up incinerated or in our landfills.
Zero Waste Design
To tackle this issue, Zero Waste Design (ZWD) develops methods for the design of garments that do not produce waste in their production. This is done through the use of creative pattern cutting and design methods to enable the careful placement of pattern pieces in a jigsaw-like arrangement.
Zero Waste Design practice implies a shift from a linear to a circular organization where authentic collaboration happens, resulting in the best sustainable design choices.
A growing number of people are starting their own brands to offer better alternatives and consumers are increasingly making their own clothing to reclaim their autonomy and avoid supporting a polluting and unjust industry. Many manage to improve the social side of their project, but still the amount of waste generated at the cutting stage is huge because they haven’t been taught how it’s possible to create a garment without creating waste.
Zero Waste Design methods remain relatively unknown in textile and fashion academia, the home sewing world and the industry at large.
We believe change starts with education but our respective experiences shows that there are multiple topics that conventional schools don’t teach - though they are essential for building a sustainable future.
As designers, researchers, industry consultants and makers coming from different backgrounds, countries and privileges within access to education, we recognised that there was a lack of information when trying to learn about ZWD.
If one happens to discover ZWD and want to learn more, there historically has not been one go-to resource to learn about the theory, history, methodology and to see practical examples. Information and resources are scattered. It often takes years to do this research to become fully adept at the practice - and if one wants to learn, they must do so on their own as there are very limited courses and instructors in the world of ZWD.
We felt there was an urgent need for a platform where we could bring together all of the information on ZWD, while building an international community of designers, teachers, industry stakeholders, home sewers, students and enthusiasts.
We seek to transform the industry through education, community collaboration and open dialogue around garment construction, pattern cutting, design methods and innovative use of technology.
Our objective is to provide online alternative educational resources that are accessible from anywhere in the world. We want all garment makers to be equipped with a sharper understanding of both the systemic issues we need to address and the potential of solutions that can be developed together.
We have come together to develop the first platform of its kind - one that creates a safe and inclusive space for people to learn, explore and collaborate on ZW garment making ideas together. It is a platform that promotes innovative methods, techniques and thinking for a better fashion future.
We are currently building an e-learning platform to serve the needs of industry, academics, designers and home sewers.
Together we are committed to nurturing the growth of ZWDO Collective and - most importantly - the impact of our work on a global scale, led by the needs, unique skills and collaboration of the wonderful zero waste design community.
Based in 4 different countries, our collaboration is exclusively managed online. We have been working together remotely since the launch of the collaboration in August 2020, only meeting in person altogether in May 2022. Despite our locations, cultural, and language barriers we managed to set up a digital collaboration process that enables the project to keep moving forward.
To extend our impact we partner with
not-for-profit organisations, textile industry players and fashion schools.