A Special NYC Fashion Report by Emma Tynan
Another Brooklyn based label implementing zero waste design practices is Study NY. Tara St James, former Creative Director of mainstream eco fashion brand Covet, founded Study NY in 2010 and won the Ecco Domani prize for sustainability in 2011.
With an emphasis on season-less fashion, Study NY also believes that open source material plays a strong role in the development of the sustainable design community. “I spent ten years producing in Hong Kong, China, India, Brazil, everywhere. Now I produce 90% of my collection in New York City. This allows me to be far more flexible with my quantities and my production management than I could be if I were working overseas,” said St James, in an exclusive interview with Eluxe. “I can make last minute changes, add styles, and change details for customers if necessary because I’m producing locally. It also allows me to see first-hand the affect I can have on the local workforce. I wouldn’t change that for anything.”
Incorporating their own hand woven fabrics into the comfortable, roomy, neutrally coloured collections, Study NY also uses dead-stock and recycled fabrics from the local garment industry when they are available, as well as sustainable textiles, trims and yarns including organic cotton, tencel, hemp, silk, tagua nut and coconut buttons. Knowing that the mainstream fashion industry is extremely wasteful with textiles, making use of this waste is an important step that several other designers, such as Charlotte Bialas and Martin Raffa, are also taking.
Beyond eco consciousness, St James also has a social conscience, and donates her skills and talents to fundraising platform, The Uniform Project, which uses sustainable design as a way of raising money for underprivileged children. She’s also active with Awamaki Lab, which facilitates cross-cultural partnerships between designers and Peru’s Awamaki indigenous weavers collective.
Next up: Susan Woo
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