Companies frequently sponsor student competitions at design schools, but they rarely commit to producing the winning submission–and for good reason. For starters, imaginative students might turn in compelling work that is costly or tricky to manufacture, presenting a huge investment for the company that it might not recoup when the product hits the market. But Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinley Hahn, the owners of the organic fashion brand Loomstate, decided to take the gamble, challenging a class at Parsons the New School for Design to create garments with zero waste.
The students’ work was whittled down to five finalists, with the winner–a loose-fitting anorak with dolman sleeves by Andria Crescioni–chosen at a Parsons exhibition on zero waste. Along the way, Gregory and Hahn coached the class, led by Timo Rissanen, on methods of construction and Loomstate’s style. The key was to maximize a single piece of cloth, using the scraps for pockets and cuffs and external details; Crescioni also sourced leather for detail work from factories in New York’s Garment District. “The width of the final fabric is one of the most important factors for proper execution,” the designer tells Co.Design. “It might sound really limiting, but for me, this process made the end result more unexpected and interesting.”
Loomstate ultimately chose a gray wool with a narrower width than the original design called for, forcing Crescioni to rethink the pattern–and the sizing. “I approached this by creating an easy-to-wear, oversized piece that is being sold as ‘one size fits most,'” Crescioni writes. “There are definitely ways to overcome that, though, in order to create zero-waste garments that are friendly to every size and shape.” The anorak is available in limited quantities for $345.