What is ethical consumerism and How can I make a textile item that is ethical?
Have you ever stopped to think, where do my clothes come from? Or how do my choices in clothing, food and many other every day things positively or negatively effect the world we live in? If this questions have crossed your mind, then you have been considering ethical consumerism. How do we define ethical consumerism? Ethical consumerism can be defined as the practice of purchasing products and services produced in a way that minimises social and/or environmental damage, while avoiding products and services deemed to have a negative impact on society or the environment (https://www.igd.com/)
there are many ways to create a textile item that is follows ethical practice. These consist of:
- using recycled items and fabric to construct your design. These can come from second hand store, schools that have left over fabrics, families members who may be getting rid of textile products
- buy already made garments from second hand stores and re-design and re-construct them into contemporary garments/textile items
- if you are going to buy fabric, ensure it is purchased from a store who is ethically certified and make sure the fabric is an ethical choice.
Elements and principles of design
Colour: Colour is the first thing people notice when looking at a design. Colours are classified into three groups: primary, secondary and tertiary.
Direction: Is the way the line runs on a fabric this can be either horizontal, vertical or diagonal.
Line: Lines can run in many different directions, be different widths and create a number of illusions, therefore the line and direction of a line can have a huge impact on the design being produced. Example: pinstriping.
Shape: Is usually utilised as a design on a fabric, therefore shapes are limitless and quiet often are symbolic of something. Example: polka dot fabric.
Size: Refers to the amount of space that an object takes up.
Texture: Describes the way something feels – such as soft, hard, smooth or rough.
Value: Value is the lightness to darkness of a colour.
Balance: If a design is balanced, it is said to be in a state of equilibrium. Designs can be balanced symmetrically or asymmetrically. Symmetrical balance occurs if one side of the design looks exactly like the other side. This creates a formal effect. Asymmetrical balance occurs when one side of the design looks different from the other side. This creates an informal effect.
Emphasis: Uses the elements of design to draw attention to a particular area.
Proportion: Involves dividing a design into parts and deciding whether a harmonious effect if created.
Repetition: Repetition involves using the same design again and again. This can create a uniform or busy look, depending on the designer’s intentions.
Rhythm: Rhythm is a continuous flowing movement. Rhythm deals greatly with the elements of line and direction.
Nelson, A. (2017). Process Journal Powerpoint, week 5. unpublished learning activity. CQUniversity Australia.
3 Design Choices
Design one - Pouf/ottoman
RepetitionRepetitionRepetitionThis design meets the design brief as it would be constructed from at least 90% of recycled products, this is because the denim and fabric has been purchased from a second hand store or recycled from home. It would come under budget because everything except the thread/cotton are purchased from a second hand store or recycled from home. the pouf is also very suitable for a textile showcase as it can be easily displayed. The item has colour contrast and emphasis through the denim and floral patch, it has line through the denim seams as well as pockets and seams that are already on the jeans and the texture is smooth. Repitition is also evident through the panels of denim. The only negative that this design has, is that it does not show a large amount of sewing skills.
This tote bag meets the design brief as it would be constructed from at least 90% of recycled products, this is because the fabric has been sourced from 2nd hand stores or recycled from home. it would come under budget because everything except the thread/cotton are purchased from a second hand store or recycled from home. The bag is also very suitable for a textile showcase as it can be easily displayed. The item has colour contrast through the denim outer and pink lining, it The only negative that this design has, is that it is a little boring and has a 90's feel to it.
This design meets the design brief as it would be constructed from at least 90% of recycled products, this is because the dress undergarment would be purchased from a second hand store and the CD's/DVD's are recycled from home/family/friends. It would come under budget because everything except the thread/cotton are purchased from a second hand store or recycled from home. the dress is also very suitable for a textile showcase. The item has colour contract and emphasis through the CD's, particularly when they catch the light. Repetition through evident through the the CD's/DVD. The texture would be rough/sharp. The only negative that this design has, is that it does not show a large amount of sewing skills and the hand sewing of the CD's would be incredibly time consuming.
Chosen Design and Construction
the chosen design is number one - the pouf/ottoman
This is because:
- it meets the design brief - recycled products, suitable for textile show, under budget etc
- it can be made within the required time frame
- it is something that I have always wanted to make and will be used in my home
What you need
at least 6 pairs of jeans
2 large garbage bags full of fabric items for stuffing (e.g. old clothing, worn towels, jeans, old pillows etc)
Large hand sewing needle
1m contrast fabric for top and bottom of pouf
Cut out pattern and stick together
pin pattern onto denim jeans and cut 8 pieces
pin two pieces together at a time and using a straight stitch and 1.5 inch seam allowance, sew along pinned side removing pins as you sew, to create pairs of panels.
following above step, sew pairs together and then sew two halves together
once you have a whole pouf constructed, turn inside out so the right side are on the outside.
Hem the hexagonal top and bottom pieces with 1.5cm hems pin bottom hexagon piece to bottom of pouf
begin stuffing pouf and once full, sew hexagonal pieces on the top and bottom of the pouf using a slip stitch.