Maja Stabel, a talented Norwegian fashion designer and illustrator, designs beautiful garments from the simple, all rectangular shapes of her zero waste patterns. Previously designing for her own label Stabel, she now offers charmingly hand-drawn zero waste patterns (for free!) and holds workshops for home-sewers.
If you’re familiar with sewing, the odd assortment of scraps remaining after cutting out your pieces will be familiar too: long strips, curves and wedges of fabric which only the most passionate patchworker could re-use. About 15% of fabric in the fashion industry is cut away at the production stage and thrown out as waste.
Intrigued by the concept of zero waste in fashion, I reached out to Maja and have since also had the pleasure of joining in on one of her workshops (where I made this). Her passion for combining creativity and sustainability in clothes making is inspiring. And today I am delighted to share an interview with her here!
I get the impression you were drawn to zero waste thinking as a sustainable approach to fashion design but also as a creative challenge of pattern construction. Could you say a little about what zero waste design is and your fascination for it?
Zero waste design within the fashion industry is about pattern construction – about designing waste out of the production of clothes.
I love that zero waste design challenges you to find new solutions and that you have to be creative with what you’ve got. When you distance yourself from the conventional way of constructing patterns, zero waste design can be a tool for innovation.
It’s hard to make the math to fit and the proportions right and at the same time make sensible use of the whole fabric piece and not waste anything, but this is what I think is fun and exciting; which makes zero waste a more creative design process for me – I’m forced to find new solutions.