Redesign of Garments in General Education: A Path to Reduced Consumption





The Design Society



Mass consumption in Western societies poses a great threat to the global climate. How do we change attitudes towards mass consumption so that the next generation does not inherit an unfortunate consumer pattern? How do we make reuse, redesign and mending ‘cool’? If young people are to choose redesign or mending as opposed to buying new clothes, they have to acquire a proper set of skills for making simple alterations to garments. A central question is whether sewing skills can promote a sustainable consumer culture. If so, what kinds of skills should be focused on in general design education at the lower secondary level? Youngsters’ motivation to learn sewing skills is essential. Young people tend to be interested in learning how to sew and are eager to use the sewing machine, but they find themselves restricted by their inability to take these basic skills to the next level. A possible strategy is to introduce them to a small variety of textile manipulations, in addition to basic training in sewing [1]. In such a strategy, simplicity is the key. By mastering small textile manipulations on garments, it is possible to make youngsters adopt a sustainable way of thinking. Such small textile manipulations promote mending and redesign and encourage decorative, functional and environmentally friendly values. In this paper, we give examples of such simple textile manipulations and discuss these in relation to the redesign of garments in general education




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