Creative Design: Professional

Once discarded, but not forgotten



The purpose of this design is to highlight the growing problem of clothing waste, demonstrate circular design by upcycling student projects and fabric remnants, and spark convrsation through design activism. The 18th century-inspired ensemble represents lingering impacts of colonialsim and the concept of "colonial waste." Symbols from Ghana (Sankofa) and Chile (Cruz Simétrica) were appliqued to the skirt to help generate discussion about ongoing systemic problems, as well as the importance of acknowledging the people and cultures negatively impacted by the clothing waste issue. This design emphasizes the importance of accountability with regard to waste in the fashion industry. It challenges educators and students to approach design with circularity in mind and re-evaluate what is considered "waste." Through design activism, this design helps generate conversation, builds awareness on the global impact of clothing waste, and demonstrates how something previously discarded can be made into a creative and meaninful design.

Keywords: Sustainability, Upcycling, Design Activism, Circularity

How to Cite: Shephard, A. (2024) “Once discarded, but not forgotten”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings. 80(1). doi: