Eco design: Imitation of Life

July 21, 2009

Damir Bedalov and Mladen Donadini are fashion designers behind the manifesto Eco-design (in Croatian: Eko dizajn), project established in 2008 on sustainable and ecological approach to the clothing production and though, the culture of clothing.

Umbrella Dress, dress redesigned from umbrella
Eko dizajn (c)

With the concept of environmental awareness their project aims to warn and attract attention of the wider public to the issues of mass production, exploitation of natural resources, pollution, and establishment’s ‘taking for granted’ approach to fashion.

2 piece suit, jacket and skirt redesigned from jeans trousers
Eko dizajn (c)

Therefore, Damir and Mladen checked some facts in the industry and they figured out that, for instance, the sales of clothes have increased for about 60% in the passed ten years, because the prices enormously fell which is directly connected with cheap labour and mass production in South Eastern Europe and Asia.

Solo Suit, jacket redesigned from trousers, Eko dizajn (c)

Following the research by the Institute for Production Research at the University of Cambridge which brought their scientists to conclusion that in the year 2006 clothes in UK were discarded after they have been worn only for few times. Consumerists realized that because their clothes is so cheap, it’s not worth all the labour annoyance to be washed.

Twisted Dress, redesigned dress, Eko dizajn (c)

Hence, the Eco-design boyz think that ‘by using the production process that is built into the origin the original, Eco-design reduces the environmental pollution and saves natural resources. Its redesigning procedure uses clothing items or accessories from outlet stores, sold on sales, that is, products that would otherwise end in incineration plants or on waste depots’.

Jacket/Dress redesigned from trousers, Eko dizajn (c)

‘The new product is created by cutting, retailoring, sawing, and reassembling various parts of the original item, ass well as by dyeing and printing – it is a complete makeover in both visual and functional sense of the word. The redesigned item is unrecognizable with respect to the original’.

Kimono Top, redesigned from dress, Eko dizajn (c)

Their first collection was entitled ‘Imitation of Life’ which was inspired by the 1940’s and compared to the current situation  – recession and the resurrection of DIY scene. Back in 1940’s the situation was practically the same; the textile industry was either stopped or reduced to minimum. Therefore, the idea of recycling clothes was on the way to grew into a mass sustainable and individually oriented movement. It became a phenomena of a much wise society.

Top with Extended Back, redesigned from dress, Eko dizajn (c)

By creating a new form of re-designed piece and giving to the object a new layer of meanings, meant in a practical way that nothing was thrown away. That’s exactly what Eco design is about, turning ordinary cotton T-shirts into dresses, or a pair of jeans into a lady’s suit… redesigning an umbrella into a dress… making an original and unique product… just like our ladiez from 1940’s had sewed up underwear of silk parachutes or skirts from pillow cases…

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