Second-year BA (Hons) Fashion Design (Part-Time) student Evangelia Rodriguez Gonzalo recently won 2nd Prize at the SDC International Design Competition 2017 ‘Design for a Circular Economy’. The award was presented at The Fashion & Textiles Museum following the London Region Heat announcement. Eva, who also works for BMA Models, spoke to us after the presentation.
Evangelia, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to study fashion?
Hi, yes sure, so basically what brought me to study fashion in London is related to my job. I started modelling in Spain at the age of 17 and always voiced my opinion about the clothes to the photographers and stylists about what I like or dislike about those garments that were hanging on me, usually more dislike than like. So one day I was telling my mum how horrible the garments of the last shoot were so she told me why not make them myself. Related to my hobbies, I love playing football (not watching it), going to antique shops and of course, a glass of good wine.
Before applying to LCF, what did you study and where?
I started studying Marketing in Madrid because my dad wasn’t happy about the idea of studying fashion, he didn’t even know what it means. But after a unsuccessful first year and the effort that I put in secretly to mounting a portfolio together to enter a UK university, he came around to the idea.
What attracted you to BA (Hons) Fashion Design Part-Time?
Unfortunately, my parents couldn’t afford to pay for university and Student Finance only helps foreigners after 3 years of living in the UK, so I had to force myself to work and study at the same time. For this reason, this course had the facilities of helping students in the same situation as mine due to their evening classes.
What does Fashion Business mean to you?
Business comes along if you believe in yourself.
You came second at the SDC International Design Competition 2017 ‘Design for Circular Economy’. What was your idea and pitch to the competition?
As humans, it’s in our nature to want to be better. And today, technology has given us the means to improve ourselves in a way we never thought possible. Is there a way that we could harness the power of modern technologies to design and manufacture clothing that could similarly make us better versions of ourselves?
When I moved to London, the shop in front of my building was a chicken shop. What interested me the most about these shops, was the bones left outside my house. I liked the idea of collecting this discarded waste from the floor, reusing this resource to make new things, leading this to a circular design. I looked for other sources of bones and found more on the banks of the River Thames. Bones are good for repairing. They are durable and hard. But this hardness also makes them easier to crumble. With crumbling, you can either use it to make broth, or you could put it into the garden, or you create a new material. The new material would be crushed and moulded into a new form, which would be usable for 3D printers. Observing 3D printing in comparison to other manufacturing processes – and especially mass production – it seems that the technology has far less of an impact on our environment in comparison to traditional manufacturing. And when we consider the entire product life cycle – extracting raw materials, assembly, refining, etc. – 3D printers demonstrate a considerable advantage over traditional machines in terms of carbon footprint. They generate less waste, eliminating the process of drilling, cutting, and milling. Another advantage of 3D printers is about reducing the refining and assembly stage, and removing the storing necessity of the products before and during their sale. The whole idea behind 3D printing is to produce affordable products in an efficient and effective manner so they’re more durable, lighter (especially advantageous when shipping) and create close to zero waste.
Recycling bones is a complete life cycle, a complete design for a circular economy. But what I wanted to create is a new way of recycling. In a perfect future, with your 99.9% recyclable garment, you would take it off and you would place it into the machine that would break down the material so it can re-print your old garment (or new design) over and over again. Therefore, if you were to buy one garment worth of material the only thing you are paying for is the design file of the specific brand. But the bones here also act as a kind of memento mori – a reminder of the inevitability of death. Everything is alive. Regarding the pitch for the competition was pretty straight forward, I tried to emphasise what the judges were looking for and make it all clear and simple for them.
Did you enjoy being presented the award at The Fashion & Textile Museum?
Yes, it was quite motivated due to their prestigious name.
What do you think is the biggest issue in fashion at the moment?
How to emerge fast fashion with tech fabrics.
Do you have a favourite song, mix or playlist to listen to while working?
Haha, this is a tricky question. Yes I do, I get into my boyfriend’s Spotify while he is working in another studio, and we fight for it. It’s quite funny and joyful to play around with him. I think you should laugh and be in a good mood while doing things you love.
Are you thinking about graduation, do you have a plan on the horizon after LCF?
No, not really, but what I know is that I don’t want to work for a big company. I want to do my art at my pose.
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