ReFashioning New Zealand: A Practitioner’s Reflection on Fast Fashion Implications

By Kim Fraser.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Current patterns of consumerism in the fashion industry result in overproduction, over-consumption and rapidly increasing waste. The author considers the implications for the environment of the cradle-to-bin-approach within ‘fast fashion’ consumption. The concept of re-use is presented as an alternative to these end-of-life options. ReFashion as an intervention reclaims discarded clothing and remakes new clothing items for return to the fashion stream. This paper, informed by design practice within a Master’s thesis, articulates issues arising from the development of a series of ReFashion prototypes using post-consumer textile waste sourced in New Zealand.

Post reflective analysis of this process has revealed key issues in terms of quality and an unexpected encroachment of ‘fast fashion’ within the locally available secondary textiles. As a consequence fashion manufacturers and importers in New Zealand need to address the issues of low grade textile in the production of imported fashion product. However, anomalies in collected New Zealand data obscure any comparison with international standards and unverified issues have failed to provide any incentive for change. The implications of the rapid growth in ‘fast fashion’ consumption have mainly gone unnoticed in New Zealand.

Keywords: Post-consumer Textile Waste, ReFashion, ReManufacture, Over-consumption, Fast Fashion, Secondary Textiles, Deconstruction Reconstruction

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.275-288. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.670MB).

Kim Fraser

Senior Lecturer, Fashion Department, School of Art & Design, Faculty of Design & Creative Technologies, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand

Kim Fraser is an experienced fashion designer and academic with more than 24 years professional experience within the fashion industry and a master’s degree (MA&D) from AUT University, Auckland. Currently a Senior Lecturer at AUT University, Fraser has been teaching in higher education for over 13 years at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in fashion design, theory and design communication. Fraser’s research focuses on the contexts of Fashion in relation to ‘Sustainability’, with recent investigation into the ReFashion concept as a sustainable solution for the issue of mounting textile waste. She has presented her work at national and international exhibitions and conferences, organized workshops, seminars and events and published her research in journals and conference proceedings.


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