Thea Oliver-Dansie

"Suitcase for Life"

Tailoring | Deadstock | Environmental Impact | Comfort

I am only interested to pursue a career in the fashion industry if I can create and put into practice development processes which have a positive effect on the environment and/or reduce negative effects, such as, using no new or raw materials and instead resourcefully finding fabrics, trims & calico already in existence. 

This year especially, I felt the need to be more extreme in my approach and realisation of my final collection in regard to the environmental impact it would have. I set a goal at the start of the year to use no new fabrics throughout the development of my graduate collection, this included calico for making samples and toiles, trims and the final fabrics. This turned out to be challenging and a very time-consuming method. It meant scouring through the textile waste bins in our studios, collecting pieces with roughly the right fabric weights & drape, ironing the crumpled pieces and sewing them together to make a piece big enough to fit my pattern pieces on. Due to the random seams that were consequently created across the different panels, this created unusual silhouettes due to unusual seam positions and varying grain lines. The result is a womenswear capsule of comfortably tailored and characterful silhouettes using a range of deadstock fabrics, each with their own end-of-roll imperfections or reminders of where they came from.

I consider comfort to be one of the most important features when designing clothing in order for them to be well-used and well-loved. As well as having room to breathe and deep hems for growth, adjustability & hand-me down purposes.