Sustainable Fashion

Final

Henry Bailey

Having worked for two weeks on our bag we learned a lot along the way about proper sewing technique as well as problem solving when things didn't go our way. We got through our setbacks and ended up with two great final products that, with a little refining, could definitely be applicable to the developing world. These recycled products are also great for eco-conscious consumers who are looking for something different in their fashion. We were able to go from zero sewing knoweldge to being fairly adept and joing fabrics in a productive way. We also got experiance with hand stiching and some embrodiary work. I felt acomplished after the studio and it was a great process of learning.

 

Final

Catherine Kenny

Million's of bike inner tubes are thrown into landfills each year, and will remain there, hurting the environment. The Laser Cut Rubber Tote re-uses bike inner-tubes to create a stylish and practical bag. The Laser Cut Rubber Tote is 14" by 17" and is made out of bike inner tubes. It features an interior pocket made out of red fabric, a zipper, and handles. The bag is designed with a pattern that is laser cut, allowing the red lining to show through. The contrast between the black material and the bright red flowy pattern also gives it a dramatic flare.  The interior red lining adds a pop of color and strength to the bag. The handles are attached with gromets, adding another design element as the silver metal contrasts the red and the black in the bag.  The bag is durable, and will be able to withstand a significant amount of weight and use due to the materials used.  

Process

Catherine Kenny

The term sustainable fashion can be interpreted in numerous ways. It can mean fashion made from recycled matirals, using new material that is sustainably produced, ethically made products and/or resusable products. Challenged with the task of creating fashion accessories out of rubber bike inner tubes, we began to work with the material to get comfortable with it. We discovered that the rubber gets stuck in the sewing machine, and curls, making it difficult to sew in a straight line. After running various tests on the rubber, we realized it does not pain well, adhesives do not stick to it, it gets extremely hot in the sun, and the soldering iron cannot be used on it. After working the material, we began to brainstorm our final project, keeping in mind how to use the strength of the rubber to our benefit. Harper and I realized we wanted to create an accessory that fixes a problem, discussing first creating an accessory for use in the rain. However, we realized that we do not know how waterproof the material is. We then discussed creating an organizer for a tote bag. We realized that the durability of the material would allow the organizer to be strong and hold a good amount of weight. We decided to create an organizer for a longchamp tote bag, that many students use as their school bag. Therefore, we designed the organizer to have compartments that would help organize a students school bag.

After our initial brainstorm, we began to finalize the design details of our organizer. As this was going to be used for school, we decided to create five pockets. One for a laptop, one for folders, one for an iphone, a small miscellaneous bag and a large miscellaneous bag. We then began the sketch up templates and cut them on the laser printer out of denim. However, we then to make alterations to the demensions to make them larger as we did not account for seam allowances, and therefore had to re-cut all of the templates out of a cotton fabric. After laser cutting all of the bag templates, we sewed the bags together, creating our first iteration. We realized that for our final we would have to change a few demensions to make the organizer longer. Overall, the iteration was succesful and represented our design well. After, we began to sew the rubber inner tubes together to create the fabric for our organizer. This took a full day and a half as every piece of rubber had to be washed, dried and sewn together. After completing the first sheet of the rubber material, we realized that we did not account for the weight of the rubber. This extra weight would make our organizer extremely heavy and impractical. Therefore, we decided that we would create a bag instead of an organizer. This would allow us to use the rubber we had already sewn together, and would lessen the weight. We then made a new template on sketch up and hand cut the rubber to the paper template. We decided to further lessen the weight of the bag, we would create a design that would cut out some of the rubber. We wanted a design with some movement, to counterbalence the stiffness of the rubber. Harper designed a flowy line pattern that incorperates the movement concept. After, we then cut this design out of the rubber in the laser cutter. After washing the rubber again, we sewed a red backing onto the back of both of the designs. Next, we sewed the lining (also red) into the bag, and finished sewing the bag together.

The Creation

Catherine Kenny

After our initial brainstorm, we began to finalize the design details of our organizer. As this was going to be used for school, we decided to create five pockets. One for a laptop, one for folders, one for an iphone, a small miscellaneous bag and a large miscellaneous bag. We then began the sketch up templates and cut them on the laser printer out of denim. However, we then to make alterations to the demensions to make them larger as we did not account for seam allowances, and therefore had to re-cut all of the templates out of a cotton fabric. After laser cutting all of the bag templates, we sewed the bags together, creating our first iteration. We realized that for our final we would have to change a few demensions to make the organizer longer. Overall, the iteration was succesful and represented our design well. After, we began to sew the rubber inner tubes together to create the fabric for our organizer. This took a full day and a half as every piece of rubber had to be washed, dried and sewn together. After completing the first sheet of the rubber material, we realized that we did not account for the weight of the rubber. This extra weight would make our organizer extremely heavy and impractical. Therefore, we decided that we would create a bag instead of an organizer. This would allow us to use the rubber we had already sewn together, and would lessen the weight. We then made a new template on sketch up and hand cut the rubber to the paper template. We decided to further lessen the weight of the bag, we would create a design that would cut out some of the rubber. We wanted a design with some movement, to counterbalence the stiffness of the rubber. Harper designed a flowy line pattern that incorperates the movement concept. After, we then cut this design out of the rubber in the laser cutter. After washing the rubber again, we sewed a red backing onto the back of both of the designs. Next, we sewed the lining (also red) into the bag, and finished sewing the bag together. The final product looks like a pretty typical tote bag (dementions are 14 x 17in) . The only difference is that it's made out of bicycle inner tube. The contrast between the black material and the bright red flowy pattern also gives it a pretty dramatic flare.  

In terms of sustainability, this material is great. It's waterproof and very durable. This is a bag that would last for a very long time. Yes, the material is a pain to work with, but this studio has been a good example of how if you're willing to endure labor that's a bit more intense, you can make something that is healthier for the environment, more durable and pretty unique looking too!

Final Products

Mackenzie Donahaue

We had many difficulties when making our final products. Sometimes when we picked up our final products parts would break off. For example, on the triangle necklace both pieces of chain and the clasp fell on when put on the manican. Another example is when putting on the nuts and bolts necklace some of them fell off. If we had more time we would make these necklaces less fragile and able to be worn in any condition. Because no adhesives work with these inner tubes it is hard for them to stay together. These problems were easily fixed and the necklaces look the same as they did before. If we had more time and more materials we definitely could have created many more final products.

Process

Maya Blair

At the beginning of the studio Tess showed us some of the different jewelry that can be made by inner tubes. Some of the accessories she showed us definitely inspired a lot of our ideas. Together Mdackenzie and I knew we wanted to create a line of necklaces using bicycle inner tubes. We began the process by Googling different styles such as bib and Peter Pan necklaces. Then we used SketchUp to create the individual necklaces that were inspired by the ones that we had found on Google. When we started we did not have a definite number of necklaces that we wanted to create. As we played more and more with SketchUp we developed a better understanding of the program and of how we wanted our necklaces to look.

 

Once we had created a necklace on SketchUp it was time to get it to fit on an inner tube so that we could laser cut it. For the necklaces that were not created on SketchUp the ideas came from testing out different sizes and using different nuts and bolts and wires to attach them to each other (adhesives did not work.)  

 


 

Above shows the process I went through to create some of our necklaces. You can see that my original ideas transformed as I moved deeper through the process.

 

Step 1: Creating the basic shape on SketchUp

Step 2: I used this technique to make sure everything was symmetrical

Step 3: More SketchUp

Step 4: What the first draft looked like!

Step 5: you can see that for some reason the second time it was printed it cut off the bottom, but we realized we liked this look better!

Step 6: we decided to cut off the bottom two triangles to make it fit better on the inner tube material, plus it is a bit more interesting looking.

Step 7: Finished necklace

 

Also above is the process of another necklace. As you can probably see, the inner tube outcome was not as great as the paper one. This is because the inner tube tends to curl naturally and so when placing it in the laser machine it is important that it is able to fit on a section that does NOT curl. However this necklace was so large that there was no way to get it to fit on just a flat section. Instead, we placed the template on top and made some slits (that would not affect the actual cutting out of the necklace)  and also used magnets to help it lay flat on the bed. However when it was cut, the pieces that were stretched out bounced back and it really affected how it was cut. Instead of just throwing it out though, we savaged the top part and made earings! We wanted to attempted this a second time and cut it in two separate parts and then attached it in the center. Also the two pieces we were going to use had different textures.

Whenever I was creating a necklace I usually started out with the shape. From there I would focus on one side. Once I finished that side and it looked how I wanted it to, I would cut it in half and mirror it so that the whole necklace was symmetrical.