cycora® teamed up with MSLYON, a Los Angeles knitwear designer to participate in the cycora® Collection One design challenge. This challenge is centered around designing garments for circularity in order to have as little environmental impact at the garment's end-of-life. Designers were given cycora® fabrics and yarns as well as design criteria to be compatible with Ambercycle end-of-life solutions.
I spent my childhood in Milwaukee, WI, and was always tinkering, making, and taking things apart to put them back together. I started making clothes at Syracuse University where I got my BFA in Fashion Design. During my studies, I got the opportunity to study at London College of Fashion for a semester during my junior year where I dove into my creative curiosities.
The idea of circularity comes up in my apparel and other pursuits. When I design a garment I like to first think of the ‘why’, and then what I can utilize that I already have, or buy something used to give it a second life. I always try to save my thread, paper, fabric scraps, and bits of my process to use at a later date for “I don’t know what yet, but it will be something.” Some call this mild hoarding, I call it enriching with opportunity. I’d say my goal as a designer is to eventually design and make products independently that can fit into the natural circular systems of the earth.
My interests go beyond just sustainability because I’m interested in how we can tip the balance and do more than sustain ourselves. To be interested in ideas about carbon neutrality, circular economy, regenerative farming, and sustainability, you have to have a bit of blind optimism that we, on this planet, are on a hero’s quest to save the earth, and then some. For me, circularity and sustainability are an integral part of my design process.
what drew you to apply to our design challenge?
I love a design challenge—especially one that has parameters that deal with waste or upcycled materials. I love using materials for their fundamental characteristics, and this challenge boils it down to a fully recyclable textile. I’ve always been interested in the prospect of apparel made from old clothes. I have thought of selling my work for a while, but the overhead investment in producing apparel can be daunting for an independent, self-funded artist. I think this challenge is creating a beautiful opportunity for independent designers to put their skills to the test and bolster their name in collaboration with a great company. I felt that my design ethos aligned with the nature of the project. Reading the prompt got me so excited and I applied immediately. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to meet some new people and learn how my design skills can help close the loop.
what message do you hope to get across through your design?
When you think about knits, maybe you think about the basics in your wardrobe. The worn-in t-shirt with the roomy fit or the thick warm hoodie. I want to communicate that fit, textile, and sewing details are what create our favorite basics. The future of knits is really exciting and I want to be able to show how special the material is!