For sustainable fashion designer Sofija Butler, clothing is about reconnecting the lost lines of connection between designer, maker and user, and between user and garment. For her graduating 2017 Masters collection (Masters of Fine Arts specializing in Fashion Design and Sustainability, Whitecliffe College of Art and Design) Sofija fully explored the area of what really makes the user engage at a deeper level with a piece of clothing. This is how she did it:
Collection name: “At the Edge”
Sustainable design strategy: Emotional Durability; meaning clothes that will be cherished, loved and cared for by the user, creating lasting connections between user and garment.
Process: “At the Edge” required a shift in the usual design thinking process. A prototype collection was created and handed over to be worn by a small group of knowledgeable fashion users who shared their feedback. They reported on how wearing their chosen garment affected them on several levels, in relation to their emotional, physical and general well-being. This feedback was used to create the final collection which was designed with empathy in order to generate clothes with real emotional durability.
Transparency: Inherent to her slow design process is the development of a transparent supply chain which has seen Sofija sourcing materials from Guatemala, USA, China and New Zealand.
Materials: Up-cycled denim waste from Guatemala, G.O.T.S ( The Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton from USA, ethically woven silk from China and 100% New Zealand wool, processed within the North Island and overseen by Sofija herself.
Where to buy: The collection will be available to pre-order via www.sofijabutler.com from mid-January.