Vintage Sovereign Hill Costumes Inspire Fast Fashion Solution to Waste Crisis
Researchers looking for ways to reduce fabric waste recruited the knowledge of costume experts at one of Victoria’s most prestigious museums.
- Research project aims to use old textile techniques to reduce waste in the clothing industry
- As part of a project, I’m researching a costume for Sovereign Hill.
- Average Australian consumes 15 kilograms of new clothing per year
Some of the costumes at Sovereign Hill, a gold rush-themed museum, have been preserved since the 1970s.
These vintage skills of making and repairing rather than throwing away have caught the attention of researchers at RMIT.
Global garment production has doubled since 2000, and overconsumption is rampant in the fashion industry.
A study by the Australian Fashion Council found that the average Australian consumes 15 kilograms of new clothing per year and throws out a similar amount.
When slow fashion became popular
But it wasn’t always this way.
According to Ricarda Bigorin, principal investigator of the Wearing Out Sovereign Project, clothes were once produced and cared for with maximum longevity in mind, but with the advent of “fast fashion,” these practices have changed. was lost.
Fast fashion is a term that describes the rapid production of clothing using cheap, low-quality materials to replicate and meet the demand of trend cycles.
“Fashion wasn’t about buying really cheap clothes and wearing them once and then throwing them away,” Bigorin said.
“The cost of production, the choice of materials, everything is designed to make you buy a new one instead of keeping it.
Erin Santamaria, the museum’s director of rare trades and programming, said the waste-minimizing techniques used by the 1850s settlers and Sovereign Hill to replicate their costumes were actually very says it’s simple.
“This technique was intended to maximize the ability to change clothing to fit size and fit, and to change styles when a little tired or when fashion changed somewhat.
“Simple things like very deep seam allowances that allow for maximum flexibility and different ways to bring seam and hem lines back into the garment so they can be modified or altered.
make old new
Despite their simplicity, Ms. Santamaria said these techniques are rarely seen in the clothes being made today.
The Wearing Out Sovereign project wants to bring these “forgotten circular economy practices” into the modern wardrobe.
Researchers are developing a series of material prototypes and workshops that will be held at the Rare Trade Center. Ordinary people can learn how to use these age-old techniques to maximize and tailor the life cycle of their garments.
Ms. Santamaria said adopting these technologies on a large scale means diverting away from fast fashion practices and investing in garment manufacturing techniques within homes and local communities.
“People don’t know how much time is spent making clothes because it’s done invisibly by strangers abroad,” she said.
She witnessed firsthand the value of knowing how clothes are made and cared for.
“Our staff know the costume department that makes their clothes. They see the effort and time they put in and are really attached to their costumes,” said Santamaria. I got
“The globalization of the fashion industry doesn’t always get things going, so it’s very important to keep practicing and teaching these skills.
“Maintaining a domestic skill set here in Australia is very important, whether it is building something ourselves or the production and manufacturing facilities we have here in the country.”