Himani Thapa | himani133@gmail.com

Sustainable Fashion: Nettle Clothing, FW 2012

Guide Amit Sinha
Keywords colour-blocking;Himalayan Nettle;silhouettes;Zero-waste

This project for the Uttarakhand Bamboo and Fiber Development Board was aimed at creating a range of garments using the Himalayan Nettle fibre; fabric samples were also developed for this range. The collection was made for Fall/Winter 2012. This being one of the first attempts of the board in designing apparels, it aimed to create new employment opportunities for the people in the interior regions of Uttarakhand through this.

Research on the Indian and international brands that use natural fibre as one of their major materials, formed the initial stages of the project. An in-depth study into the processes involving the production and processing of the Nettle fibre from its preliminary levels formed an important part of the research; this was followed by conceptualisation.

One of the key portions of the design brief involved the concept of ‘Zero-waste’; this meant designing garments in such a way that no fabric waste would be created at all. The silhouettes are kept classic, ranging from classic shirts for men and half-jackets for women. The fabric swatches that were developed for the garments to be created were designed using simple stripes and colour-blocking.

This project was an interesting journey through the processes of working with fibres to garment creation. Working with the artisans and interacting with different people at various stages of this project, made it a fulfilling experience in every way. The interdependence between design and environment was the significant learning gained from this project. One of the most valuable learning gained was about how deeply design is influenced by the environment, and how essential it is to take important design decision keeping this aspect in mind.
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