Slow design: sustainable, adaptable and beautiful

Where do our clothes and materials come from? We have been thinking a lot about that as we have been exploring the idea of fabrication this month leading up to our DELVE Networking event Fabric(ation) + Art at the Textile Arts Center in Manhattan. Luckily, our friend, Fay Koplovitz, a costume designer and all-around cool lady, introduced us to the slow-design movement recently with her incredible weaving piece below. It has shed some light on some zen art making practices as well as some companies that believe in sustainability and our future without sacrificing design and beauty.

"This piece was made on a primitive hand weaving loom that I made from an existing wooden frame and incorporates several different types of yarn, as well as twine and shredded silk fabric. This piece is inspired by the slow design movement, and African art and textiles, " says Fay.

Fay Koplovitz's weaving, (untitled) measures 15”wide x 22”high  

Fay Koplovitz's weaving, (untitled) measures 15”wide x 22”high
 

detail

detail

Fay explained the idea of slow design to us really well: 

"As I understand it, slow design is a way of designing that embodies sustainable, holistic, non-toxic, and adaptable qualities. For example, using whatever materials you already have or found locally,  and not consuming or creating a carbon footprint. I think it branches from the same idea as slow food–eat local, all natural/unprocessed. 

This weaving cost me $0 to make because I already had all the materials to make it. Part of the creative process, for me, is to make something out of things that would otherwise go to waste (scraps of fabric, yarn, an old picture frame). 

Using things that you have also effects the final result of the art. Sometimes there are aesthetic compromises that must be made in order to best utilize the materials at hand. I think these compromises sometimes create flaws, but I think the flaws add a lot of visual interest.

The frame loom is also a very primitive way to weave, which takes a long time, requires 0 electricity, and 0 mechanisms–so taking the word  'slow' quite literally."

She sparked our interest and we found ourselves going down rabbit holes of amazing slow design work out there that left us inspired and happy. So, we shall leave you with two gorgeous capes and let you explore on your own!

Alabama Chanin has some gorgeous clothing and accessories for sale, plus DIY kits and an amazing blog. All of their products are USA made from organic materials and incorporate unique traditions and crafting techniques. 

Alabama Chanin has some gorgeous clothing and accessories for sale, plus DIY kits and an amazing blog. All of their products are USA made from organic materials and incorporate unique traditions and crafting techniques. 

Titania Ainglis' elegant work is minimal and beautiful. "Each garment is sewn in a small factory in New York from high-quality, low-impact fabrics including Japanese organic cotton, French vegetable-tanned leather, and dead stock wool from the local garment industry."

Titania Ainglis' elegant work is minimal and beautiful. "Each garment is sewn in a small factory in New York from high-quality, low-impact fabrics including Japanese organic cotton, French vegetable-tanned leather, and dead stock wool from the local garment industry."

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