Temasek Poly design students give new life to unwanted clothes
Miss Jamie Ng used to watch in awe as the contestants on US reality TV series Project Runway created fashionable clothes from unconventional materials.
Now, the 19-year-old third-year apparel design and merchandising student at Temasek Polytechnic (TP) has done something similar.
As part of her final-year project, Miss Ng set up Warp Ways with the aim of breathing new life into unwanted women's clothes.
She told The New Paper: "Not many people know that three-quarters of garments produced end up in landfills. Many would rather throw away their unwanted clothes than take them to second-hand shops or donate them to charity."
Set up together with coursemates Ethel Leong, 19, and Guo Bingjie, 21, Warp Ways also hopes to shine a light on waste in the fashion industry.
For their project, the trio cut up and sewed together clothes donated by TP students. The result? A fresh take on a tired and uninspiring outfit.
Miss Guo said: "We want people to pause and ask us to explain the stories behind them."
Their effort to promote environmental sustainability was recognised by the school last Friday at the TP Design Show 2018.
In its 27th year, the exhibition allows graduating students of TP's School of Design to showcase their projects to the public.
Warp Ways was one of three projects that won the inaugural BeyonDesign Centre Sustainability Award, which honours students who address environmental issues in their work.
Creating such designs was not without its challenges, such as minimising wastage during the production process.
To achieve this, the trio utilised every part of a garment in their designs, including stray threads, buttons and belt loops.
It was initial comments from their lecturers that their project was too ordinary that provided the spark for them to structure their designs around cubism, said Miss Guo.
The motifs on the clothes featured overlapping layers of complimentary colours in a collage, similar to how cubist artwork combined geometric angles and shapes to create a fresh look.
Said Miss Guo: "Just like how cubism was a revolution for art, we want our brand to be a revolution for the fashion industry (in promoting sustainability)."
But there are no plans to expand the collection.
Said Miss Ng: "I don't think we have the financial capability to grow, but if the right opportunity presents itself, we may review our decision then."
Added Mr Chow Chee Yong, manager of TP's BeyonDesign Centre, which was established in 2013 to encourage students to create ethical and eco-conscious designs: "We launched this competition to hammer home the message that it is not enough just to have a good design, but more importantly, is your design doing good?
"Their idea (of Warp Ways) is about moving towards zero waste, and that is exactly what we want to achieve. "