– A Gentle Approach to Fashion-
Real.m started off with our love for all things natural – that journey started with working with only natural and handloomed fabric. But we realised there was more to natural materials in making positive impacts in fashion production that was kinder to Mother Earth. This year, we pushed ourselves a little bit further by trying to reduce wastage in our production of raw fabric use.
Fabric waste impact for Ivory 2.0 Collection.
Ivory 2.0 capsule collection embodies harmony in full cycle. Real.m collaborated with zero-waste fashion designer, Xe Linn from Little, in search of yet another timeless design adopting design approach to minimize wastage in production and shelf-life: unisex design, free-size and zero-waste pattern making. The raw materials stay true to Real.m’s indentity of using non-GMO cotton, bamboo and a new edition of plant-base dyes from Indonesia. We believe in slow fashion, so the collection is produced in small batches and open to pre-orders.
A look into zero-waste pattern cut.
Why did it matter to us to search for a solution of unwanted scrap of raw fabrics and using natural dyes? Our answer is simple – we needed to rest our conscious of not contributing more to the landfill and polluting the earth with chemicals.
DID YOU KNOW??
It is claimed via various online resources that the fashion industry wastes about 15-40% of the raw fabric post production. Where do these unwanted scraps go? Your guess is as good as ours – in the trash in which obviously ends in the landfill. To add to the mess, most fabrics are not of sustainably sourced/produced materials, which means they are non-biodegradable. These synthetic fabrics are claimed to be around in the landfill for the next 200 years.
Small steps go a long way. Saving the planet is not up to one party to do but a collective effort by all, big or small.
Get to know zero-waste designer Xe Linn, the Little designer with a BIG conscious mind.
Q: What was your professional background?
I interned for a few fashion houses before graduating and was assistant to Yulia Kondranina in London before returning home to Malaysia. Then I worked for a local brand for a year before kick starting my brand, Little in 2017.
Q: How many years have you been in the fashion industry?
Considering I was already interning before graduating from university, I have been in the industry for about 7 years.
Q: When did you venture into your own children’s line and why?
I’ve always wanted to venture into childrenswear even before graduating but only officially started prototyping in 2017. Why childrenswear? I figured if I were to start my own brand, I am in no way able to compete with fast fashion nor do I have any intentions to. I like the fact that children’s clothing emphasize on comfort and quality and not on trend.
From a design perspective, I get to play with beautiful textiles with minimum overhead costs. But now I’ve learnt that making a children sized garment is as complicated and time consuming as the adult sizes, therefore the workmanship costs are the same if not more.
Q: Why zero-waste approach?
I did it because I hate to see good materials go to waste.
Q: What would you like to change in the fashion industry? What would you like to see more off?
I wish people would realise trends are decided by a group of people, and sold as ‘trend forecasts’ to fashion brands that would buy them. Then when everyone is churning out the same things, it is suddenly the trend of the season.
I hope the consumers will understand the value of designs and stop buying runway knockoffs produced by high street brands. They often buy off-the-runway pieces and copy them without changing anything, and then sell them on their racks all over the world within a short period of time before the originals.
Q: What is zero waste fashion and zero waste pattern cutting?
Zero waste fashion is items of clothing that generate little or no textile waste in their production. Pre-consumer zero waste fashion eliminates waste during manufacture and post-consumer zero waste fashion or what we sometimes call upcycling, generates clothing from second hand clothing and eliminates waste by extending the life of used items. All scraps will be repurposed and made into another product, so no waste is contributed to the landfill.
Zero waste pattern cutting is creating a garment while working within the space of the fabric width. Pattern pieces of each garment are designed to fit together like jigsaw puzzle so no fabric is wasted at the end of the cutting process.
Q: What are the challenges in doing zero-waste pattern making?
Every pattern pieces have to fit perfectly on the ‘block’ of fabric. Therefore all measurements has to be very precise.
To make a product that makes sense. It is easy to create something that looks like an abstract piece of art, but to make something functional is the biggest challenge. Like creating something recognisable like a shirt but it is cut so differently than the conventional way.
Q: Who is your favourite fashion designer/ brand? Why?
Yulia Kondranina because she was a pleasure to work with. She also has impeccable eye for details and quality. In a way, you pay for what you get.
Q: What’s your take on personal style?
Don’t put too much pressure on it, just do you and you will be original.
Q: Your favourite quote?
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” ― Pablo Picasso
Ivory 2.0 is made available at: