Collection created piece by tiny piece

Dunedin designer Fiona Clements' collection Chimerical Conundra, made from scrap material donated...
Dunedin designer Fiona Clements' collection Chimerical Conundra, made from scrap material donated by other labels, has been selected as a finalist in the Miromoda Fashion Design Awards, to be held in Wellington this month. Photo by Jane Dawber.
With 15% of fabric going to waste on the cutting room floor, Dunedin designer Fiona Clements set out to make use of it - piece by tiny piece.

The Otago Polytechnic fashion graduate created a collection, Chimerical Conundra, from fabric scraps donated by clothing stores Adventure Outfitters and St Clair Design.

The finale piece was a skirt made from "all the really tiny pieces" and took about 40 hours to stitch together. It had been difficult designing a cohesive collection from the scraps, and there was "a bit of trial and error involved" in sorting the fabric and fitting it together.

After being selected to show at this year's iD Dunedin Fashion Show, Miss Clements' collection was chosen as a finalist in the Miromoda Fashion Design Awards, in Wellington next week.

The awards celebrated the nation's top emerging and established Maori designers. The range of prizes included the opportunity to show at New Zealand Fashion Week in September.

Being selected meant a lot to her because the chance to show at fashion week would be "amazing", especially so soon after graduating.

She hoped her exposure would encourage consumers and designers to think about creating and buying sustainably.

"It's not about trying to make people feel bad or guilty, but to think more about the way forward; consuming less for longer," she said.

There was not enough discussion about sustainability in fashion and she wanted to encourage people to start thinking about where their clothes were coming from, and if they needed to buy them.

"It's insane how much usable fabric is put in the rubbish bin - 15% of fabric gets left on the cutting room floor. If there was just one person in each centre collecting the fabric waste, we would be sorted in New Zealand."

The polytechnic supported Miss Clements with a grant to attend Miromoda. Fashion academic leader Margo Barton said she was proud of Miss Clements' achievements.

"Her collection is fabulous and the sustainable direction she is taking adds an extra element of interest and appreciation. She deserves the recognition."



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