Students Present Sustainable Knit Top Designs at GUESS
Ten students were selected to work with GUESS designers this year on a special project in sustainability. After meeting with GUESS in September, the students followed through with proposing initial fashion sketches of their sustainable knit top designs in October. And last week, they presented their final prototypes to Cindy Lazo, Design Director for the Women’s Division of G by GUESS (GBG), at the GUESS headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles.
GUESS launched their first sustainability plan in 2017, and since then they’ve made rapid progress towards positive impact. The brand, which has an ongoing sustainability partnership with FIDM, has educated more than 250 students and employees since 2016. The GUESS-sponsored class at FIDM is open to students of all majors.
GUESS has committed to a circular fashion system—the idea that fashion should continuously be reused, reworn, and recycled—with plans to expand the program globally by 2020.
Students Claudia Bata (Fashion Design) and Ellie Smith (Merchandise Product Development) started off the presentation at GUESS by giving an introduction to the special project on sustainable knit tops, followed by a presentation on sustainable textiles by student Erin Schulenberg (Textile Design and Fashion Design). Finally, the other participating students presented their final prototypes, one by one, which were met with great interest on the part of GUESS.
Choice of fabric, zero waste pattern making, and fewer seams are just a few of the main contributing factors in fashion when it comes to sustainability, which the students covered in their presentations. They recommend using natural fibers because they’re biodegradable, and also recycled synthetics such as recycled poly.
Erin visited Repreve’s headquarters in North Carolina on an official FIDM study tour, so she shared her knowledge of their brand of recycled fiber – certified and traceable – used in apparel, footwear, and home goods.
They also talked about “cost per garment” versus “cost per yard” as a fresh way of looking at costing.
Students who created designs for the Fashion Basics Group included Bianca Betdashtoo, Ida Chavez, Riley Fawcett, Tina Huang, and Rachelle Shen, while those in the Contemporary Fashion Group were Claudia Bata, Reagan Begley, Faith Ibrahim, Erin Schulenberg, and Ellie Smith.
Cindy Lazo encouraged the students, stating that they were good ideas and that she’d like to bring them back to her designers and buyers, and possibly see about producing some of the designs.