Climate, Energy & Air Pollution

David Andersen Copenhagen; designing waste out of fashion


26 Jun 2012

Written by

Joan Marc


Waste is a human invention and as such it is up to us to design it out of the system. David Andersen is a good example of how zero waste can be built into a production process and at the same time bring added value to the project.

The Zero Waste philosophy has many applications in the production process and fashion is one of them. Zero Waste & clothes design can be approached from the quality point of view; i.e. better quality + good design = longer lasting clothes which should reduce the shopping frequency and hence reduce also the waste associated clothes production. Good quality fabrics also allow for refurbishment and reuse of clothes to give a second life to garments.

Another way to approach Zero Waste & clothes is from the point of view of the design. Most clothes-production processes involve lots of cutting the by-product of it being lots of unused fabric that go to waste. These fabric-rests can and should be reduced to zero and this can be done with good design.

David Andersen Design, a successful Copenhagen design label since 2007, has decided to go follow the Zero Waste path. As David Andersen puts it ’’Sustainability is an integrated part of how we work at David Andersen, and has been it for a long time. It is a simply a natural thing for us, to be concerned of the origin, production and maintenance of clothes. It should be a common and decent behavior, and not something new and fashionable.’’

Implementing Zero Waste to cloth design means creating a strong garment whilst efficiently utilising the 100% of the fabric used in production. Indeed, the idea is to design in a way that enables to use every single square millimeter of the fabric. It is the virtue of the designer, to create simple designs, so even the thinnest part of the fabric, will be integrated in the final design, thus eliminating waste.

’’It is all about minimizing waste already in the design and production phase, and about applying the approach for the next design process. In the end, the final result will signal both a design and social point of view’’ says David Andersen about the design experiment, which will be an integrated part of the designer’s SS 13 collection. The collection will go under the name of zero-waste by David Andersen.

With this project and building on smart designs, which are based on the sustainable principles from the beginning, David Andersen aims at creating a new trend within fashion. Unlike the fashion industry, which operates in secrecy, the zero-waste project is open for anyone, who is interested in following and commenting on the project. To follow the project just follow the blog: