MakeUse V2: digital textile technology for user modifiable zero waste fashion
The evolving discourse on zero waste fashion design addresses justifications and approaches for designing and making these garments in ways that attempt to fit within the existing structure of fashion education and industry. However, little has been explored about the relationship between the outcomes of zero waste fashion design and the potentially elevated fashion user experience it might enable. This paper and associated creative works explore the emerging field of enriching the fashion user experience: the post-production and post-retail environment; an area that historically the fashion industry has given little attention to. MakeUse builds on Kate Fletcher’s work within Local Wisdom, specifically in the context of what she terms the Craft of Use of clothing, and the application of knowledge and skill which enables us to “mitigate … intensify, and adapt” clothing to suit our lives. MakeUse places zero waste fashion practice in the context of user practice, where the user becomes an agent in both the design and ongoing use and modification of the garment. Through actions and opportunities facilitated by the designer, an enriched designer/maker/user relationship is possible. Using methods such as digital textile print and embroidery, embedded instructional material, online support and distributed production, MakeUse provides user modifiable zero waste fashion products and an associated product use experience that acknowledges both the opportunities and limitations each user brings, while intensifying their skills, knowledge, needs and desires.