How do we clothe ourselves without polluting, making waste, or exploiting others?

How do we clothe ourselves without polluting, making waste, or exploiting others?

Emily Smit-Dicks, 30

Nobody wants to pollute the environment, produce excess waste, and exploit cheap labour just to get a shoddy product that starts to fall apart in a matter of months. But when it comes to clothing that is what is available to the majority of consumers. And with the UK throwing out over 300,000 tons of clothing every year, there needs to be more attainable solutions to our clothing waste problems.

I started Woolgathering, as a modest solution to redirect some of this waste, to create well made, simply designed, wool accessories, knit-ware, and home wares from discarded wool garments. To make these items I employ zero-waste methods so that all parts of the garment are reused to create new items. The idea behind the Woolgathering project is to create simple, minimalist pieces, designed with a refined and timeless approach. The garments are meant to be versatile and to be worn many different ways, in many different contexts. All items are ‘re-made’ by hand in Scotland and are one-of-a-kind. Woolgathering was created for people that want to feel good about looking good and to set an example for how creative design can lead the way in conserving the environment.

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The John Byrne Award