This ongoing PhD research project at the Centre for Circular Design at University of the Arts London aims to explore design driven solutions for incorporating ease of recyclability into textiles. The project takes a pro-active approach to developing alternatives to the unsustainable status-quo in the creation of blends through the use of design for disassembly, the design of products and materials that can be taken apart to divert their components from waste streams. This strategy is adapted to the scale of textiles and to the specifics of creative textile design practice in an effort to design waste out of our systems from the very first stages of materials creation.

Mapping problem blends

The first stage of the research was to understand the issue with current blending practices so that this could inform the subsequent redesign process.

Lamination Effect Textile for Disassembly

Replicating characteristics found in existing problematic blends such as lamination in this case led to new aesthetics derived from the Design for Disassembly brief.

Split Jacket

This jacket combines a leather outerlayer with a polyester lining to get the best of two worlds. The leather is made using a non-toxic tanning process which retains its ability to be fully bio-degraded. The polyester is from recycled plastic bottles, and it can further be recycled in thermal or chemical processes. These materials come together in a light way for the duration of the jacket’s life cycle using design for disassembly techniques. At the end of the product’s useful life, the connections can be undone for each component to be recovered. Following the materials inherent qualities and recyclability routes leads to a new aesthetic which respects their nature and place in a circular economy.

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