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Transformational Cloth

By Donna Cleveland


This presentation would present a recent project that engaged directly with individual New Zealand companies to re-circuit their manufacturing waste streams by developing a customised design solution that recycles their textile waste locally.


A model was developed where the scale of textile waste matched the scale of intervention and style of innovation. New Zealand has limited infrastructure in place for textile recycling, therefore this offers a unique opportunity for new ways of thinking and new models of engagement.


The outcome of the project is a local recycling system that alters the current production model by demonstrating how textile waste can be diverted from landfill and reanimated through the use of traditional textile technologies, tangibly maximising the utility of textile waste. The research initiates a model of innovative sustainable practice into New Zealand's fashion manufacturing industry by developing a solution to our textile waste offering relevant contemporary recycled textiles.


The experimental designer practice recycles several apparel companies' textile waste, offering an exemplary proof of concept for the proposed model which highlights the future possibility for a localised recycling system. Moreover, the study demonstrates the potential for textile production to reconnect people with the value of the original fibres. It is envisaged the outcomes of research are used to inform future initiatives to enable New Zealand to aim towards zero textile waste in the future.

Donna Cleveland.jpeg

Donna Cleveland

Auckland University of Technology.

Dr Donna Cleveland is the Associate Head of Learning and Teaching and the Director of the Creative Technologies programme, in the new School of Future Environments at Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. Her passion lies in educating emerging artists and designers in transformative and sustainable design practices.  Her interdisciplinary research and creative practice are engaged with issues of sustainability, materiality and economies.

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