Creative Design: Professional


  • Melanie Carrico (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)


The purpose of this design was to execute garments in a zero-waste pattern cutting technique that were typical in silhouette and style for the ready-to-wear women’s market. My practice-led research has focused on zero-waste (ZW) pattern cutting techniques for several years. I enjoy it for two primary reasons: first, as a creative challenge that simultaneously employs the designer and patternmaker within me, and second, to contribute to solutions for sustainably creating apparel. Several exhibitions focusing on ZW designs have been mounted in recent years, however few designers have bridged the gap between creating a single zero-waste garment (as shown in an exhibition) and marketing multiple designs in the ready-to-wear market. Consumer acceptance of the designs is critical for success in the marketplace. Additionally, consumers prefer zero-waste dresses that are “typical” aesthetically over those that are atypical, even when considering the zero-waste concept behind the designs (Michaelson and Chattaraman, 2017). To that end, Zero-what? is a ZW design that appears very typical in silhouette and style. A red and white micro-check gingham top with lace detail at the waist is paired with a white knee length pique skirt with lace trim accenting the diagonal seams. Zero-what demonstrates that a zero-waste pattern can yield a garment with a typical silhouette and style. Such an undertaking is an increased challenge to the designer / patternmaker since all the fabric must be utilized in a way that does not alter the style or silhouette beyond typicality.

How to Cite:

Carrico, M., (2018) “Zero-what?”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 75(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2018
Peer Reviewed