Taylor’s Fashion Design Technology students take sustainability centre stage for ‘The Show’ fashion showcase

Image credit: Taylor's University
Image credit: Taylor’s University

Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week (KLFW), Life Line Clothing Malaysia Sdn Bhd (LLCM) along with FASHINFIDELITY and fashion designer Hatta Dolmat, collaborated on an initiative to showcase the production of sustainable garments in an effort to advocate ethical fashion in Malaysia.

Themed ‘Love, Earth’, the one-day fashion showcase event titled ‘The Show’ curated by The Design School at Taylor’s University revealed a contemporary ready-to-wear collection that featured nearly 60 garments designed by 24 Fashion Design Technology programme students, across three semesters. 

Sustainability takes centre stage at ‘The Show’

Image credit: Taylor's University
Image credit: Taylor’s University

Focusing on sustainability, the event was divided into three segments that officially unveiled the Experimental Art-to-Wear (ATW) collection from recycled denim and clothing trims, the Zero Waste Fashion collection using Taylor’s Innovative Pattern Drafting Technique that utilises every part of the textile, and the Fashion Revolution collection to support United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by repurposing and reusing textiles from waste materials.

Image credit: Taylor's University
Image credit: Taylor’s University

Programme Director of Taylor’s Bachelor of Fashion Design Technology (Honours) (FDT), Maria Sandra Wijaya, said The Show’s theme was apt, due to the fact that the fashion industry is identified as the second-largest polluter in the world.

“The fast fashion culture is a lucrative business, and we understand the importance of educating our students on sustainable fashion and technological knowledge. The creative fashion industry and fashion designers have the power to change current trends to ensure a better future by caring for the environment,” she said.

Turning recycled surplus into style

Image credit: Taylor's University
Image credit: Taylor’s University

For all three segments of The Show, LLCM provided over 150kg worth of recycled fabric and denim to be used by the students.

“We’re very pleased to be collaborating with the next generation of fashion designers from Taylor’s in promoting the reuse and recycling of fabrics, in our effort to reduce the amount of clothes going into landfills.

We collect hundreds of tonnes of textiles a week that can either be sold as second-hand clothing, used as rags, or even broken down into fibres or biofuels. Seeing these materials fashioned into designer clothing is certainly a refreshing way to give these textiles new life,” said Dale Warren, Principal Chief Executive Officer of LLCM.

In the run up to The Show, students were given the opportunity to collaborate with industry players such as environmental engineer Najah Onn and sustainable local designer Hatta Dolmat, over 14 weeks. These industry mentors played the role of students’ advisors in conceptualising, developing, creating, and styling The Show’s garment collections.

Image credit: Taylor’s University

Staged at Mayamode, Malaysia’s first co-working fashion studio, the fashion show was organised by the FDT students who were also working alongside Andrew Tan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of KLFW and fellow Co-Director of the programme.

“We’re pleased with the students’ work for their very first runway show, demonstrating their capabilities in being creative as well as sustainable in their products.

They have certainly benefitted from the top-notch facilities at Mayamode – from the latest garment-making machines, industrial-grade sewing machines for all types of materials, pattern plotters, drafting facilities, and to waste-reducing pattern digitisers using the Lectra technology – that would allow them to calculate their fabric consumption and use technology to reduce wastage,” he said. 

Designers & the roles they play in sustainability

Prior to the fashion showcase, a Show and Tell Press Segment was conducted that demonstrated how a sustainable meter was used to quantify the sustainability of all garments designed for the fashion showcase through three sustainable criteria – materials & composition, innovation & circularity, and heritage & culture.

“Designers have a big role to play in reversing the damaging effects of today’s linear fashion supply chain on people and the planet. Longevity, with the end in mind after optimal utilisation, has to be at the forefront of any design.

Thinking about how a fashion or textile product can morph into other products also keeps clothing in circulation longer. Using innovative materials can help reduce pressure on our Earth’s resources, but also assists in biodegradability and end-of-life reincarnation,” said Najah Onn, Environmental Engineer and Sustainability Specialist.

Image credit: Taylor's University
Image credit: Taylor’s University

Additionally, Hatta Dolmat shared that Taylor’s FDT students were a pleasure to mentor and work with. 

“They are inspired young minds that are open to learning more about sustainable and ethical fashion, and focused on addressing environmental and social issues by supporting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their designed garments.

I look forward to more meaningful collaborations with Taylor’s University as the opportunity given to share my industry experience with these up-and-coming student designers were significant, especially knowing they will lead the industry to greater success,” added Hatta.

Taylor’s Micro House

Within an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration, and in line with Taylor’s carefully curated Taylor’sphere ecosystem, the institution encourages interdisciplinary collaboration that aims to equip students with academic knowledge, practical wisdom, and the ability to create and innovate. For The Show, Interior Architecture students collaborated with the FDT students to refurbish Taylor’s Micro House by using recycled raw materials such as t-shirts and recycled poly-al provided by LLCM to create art and texture braided pieces.

Image credit: Taylor's University
Image credit: Taylor’s University

Members of the public can now shop Taylor’s first-ever fashion label, MAYAMODE, which features student designer pieces via an online-based retail platform that also has its first retail pop-up at Mayamode, Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus.

Image credit: Taylor's University
Image credit: Taylor’s University

Mayamode is an innovative and creative space that operates on a membership basis for established fashion designers, fashion entrepreneurs, freelancers, and emerging fashion designers in Southeast Asia.

For more information on Taylor’s University’s Fashion Design Technology programme, please visit the link here.

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