Surrey Kwantlen University student designs zero waste clothing collection

Thrive Zero Waste is a contemporary women's line that features "quality, neutral pieces that outlast trends."

A Surrey Kwantlen University Polytechnic student has designed a zero waste clothing collection

SURREY – Like “slow food,” the concept of “slow fashion” is now gaining a foothold in the design industry.

While challenging, its core set of values – quality, sustainability, ethical production – inspired Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) student Claudia Demčak to create an entire collection using zero-waste design.

“I wasn’t sure if I could do zero waste for my KPU collection, but my teacher encouraged me to pursue my interest. I used the jigsaw method to create Thrive Zero Waste, which involves moving pieces around and adjusting measurements until they fit together, wasting no fabric,” explained Demčak, who added that her approach, remarkably, does not compromise fit. “I make sure the few pieces that require a specific fit are shaped well, and all of the other pieces are subject to adjustment and a lot of fitting and puzzling.”

Thrive Zero Waste is a contemporary line of women’s wear that features “quality, neutral pieces that outlast trends,” and pair well with the wearer’s existing wardrobe.

“My clothes are humble, purposeful but still luxurious. They are high quality and well finished, and designed to be easy to wear for a variety of occasions,’ said Demčak, who grew up in Surrey and will graduate from the Wilson School of Design this year.

Next week, Demčak’s line will be unveiled at 2016 The Show, presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc. at the Imperial Vancouver, April 6 and 7. Thrive Zero Waste will walk the runway in five sold-out shows alongside 35 emerging designers set to graduate from KPU this May.

Footage and photos from the show will be available at kpu.ca/2016fashionshow.

Demčak developed the line as part of her final project in the university’s four-year fashion, design and technology program. The degree program provides students with a rigorous studio-based design education. The final capstone project involves extensive market and design research, and requires students to create garments that meet a perceived market need.

“I have wanted to be a fashion designer since I was very small, but what type of designer has been constantly changing. My four years in this program have been intense. They have drastically changed my perspective and shaped me to be the person and designer I have always wanted to be. I am so excited to present how far I have come and show my hard work to the industry,” said Demčak.

After graduation, Demčak plans to expand her beauty accessory shop on Etsy, and make every product offered a zero-waste product.

For more on Claudia Demčak, visit claudiademcak.com. Her online store can be found at oblahk.etsy.com.

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