Timo Rissanen’s Workshop

Timo Rissanen is a current professor from Parsons The New School for Design known for his methods in zero waste fashion. Required for the workshop was a garment that students no wanted and through examples of Timo’s work, students were to repurpose the garment in some sort. Students had the choice of repurposing the garment by donating it and giving it another life by redesigning the garment. For example, an old t-shirt could be turned into a tank top. Throughout Timo’s lecture during the workshop, he provided many interesting facts that I personally did not consider, like the idea of how much waste is really produced by a single person during a marathon. 

Timo provided many resources for students such as a book called “A Feather River Across The Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction” by Joel Greenberg, which is about the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon in the 19th century. The book brings up good points such as our agricultural practices and how that ultimately affected the lives of these pigeons. There were many facts presented throughout the powerpoint that suggested that waste and economy go hand in hand. Forever 21 is a great example of how the world of fashion and the waste it produces affects the economy. The clothing is manufactured in the United States but recently launched a new and cheaper line called f21, where jeans and shirts are available for $3-$4. 

The part of the lecture that was most enjoyable was designing out zero waste which is essentially zero waste fashion. There were examples of Timo’s work where the cut out of the pattern was out of a single piece of fabric and every inch of the fabric was used for different parts of the garment. In the world of fashion, 10%-15% of garments are considered waste prior to manufacturing. Spaces that are left in between pieces of fabric which is considered “off-garment waste”. 

Overall, this workshop was very engaging. With the vast amount of information that was presented to students from such an established person in the industry. There were many lessons that could be taken away from this workshop and more thought could be put into the what we as students are purchasing in our personal and academic lives. There are baby steps that every individual can take to further push the idea of sustainability in places where we spend most time. With OCAD being such a large school with many other facilities in the building that do not necessarily consider sustainable approaches, it would be beneficial the the school itself to take baby steps in the same direction.

Kimeley Kan

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