WSU Student Designs Eco-Jeans

PULLMAN, Wash.—Lacey Wilmot, second year graduate student in WSU's Apparel Merchandising, Design and Textiles program, used her love for jeans as an inspiration to develop long-lasting, sustainable jeans. Her thesis project, “Designing Culturally and Environmentally Sustainable Denim Jeans,” was presented at the 2010 Academic Showcase.

"I aimed to design American-made environmentally sustainable jeans,” Wilmot said.

“Jeans are iconic, but that’s been lost in the materialistic world,” Wilmot said. “I wanted to go back to the roots of American jeans.”

According to Wilmot, people spend $200 on jeans that only last seven months. The idea behind her project was to marry the iconic symbol of jeans with quality, and to make them sustainable. Her collection included five pairs of jeans, from trousers to skinny fit, all of which were meant for different body types.

“One thing that is wonderful about Lacey’s project,” said Carol Salusso, associate professor of AMDT, “is that she is combating throw away fashion and designing jeans that will last.” Wilmot wanted people to know that quality jeans can be made to be sustainable.

Eco-fashion is beginning to be trendy, but many people do not want to jeopardize fashion for the environment. Wilmot wanted to show people that she could design fashionable apparel that is eco-friendly and American-made.

“You shouldn’t have to advertise that something is environmentally sustainable, it should be a given,” Wilmot said.

Through research, Salusso discovered that the American Cotton Growers produce safe denim, which stands for sustainable, American and friendly to the environment. According to their Web site, the American Cotton Growers and its farmers produce an average of 37 million yards of denim annually, enough to make 26 million pairs of jeans, every yard of which is grown, spun, dyed, and woven from the cotton its members produce.

Salusso also found a company that produces eco-friendly products that can be used to lighten denim. The company, Dyadic, even sent samples as a contribution to Wilmot’s project.

“Lacey’s jeans have integrity,” said Salusso. “Visual integrity. Social integrity, Environmental integrity. Industry should be reestablished on a basis of integrity.”

“It’s really about making a good choice for yourself and for the world,” Wilmot said.

The Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Committee at WSU created a video about Wilmot’s thesis project. The video was being exhibited in the CUB Art Gallery and can also be viewed here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think fair trade and eco-friendly material use is something that needs to be adopted in major fashion companies. All the little companies like are setting the examples, with super soft organic tees and the use of water based inks. Even half their profits go back to areas in need of sustainability projects. Check it out!

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