Jan 17 2013
At Levi Strauss & Co., we’re building sustainability into everything we do.
These sustainable innovations can come from anywhere. For example, through my work with the Aspen Institute, I’ve been experimenting with how to get the best finishes and colors for the Dockers® brand using more sustainable processes. And, the Levi’s® brand has found a way to put eight recycled bottles into a single pair of jeans with its new Waste<Less collection, available this spring.
But how do we come up with that next great idea that transforms the fashion of denim?
Great, sustainable design doesn’t usually happen by accident – it happens when we set up the right circumstances.
That’s why I’m thrilled to be working with students at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) through a new designer-in-residence program. The big picture is to help train the next generation of students in better apparel design, incorporating both style and sustainability into the end product from the very inception of the idea. Investing in sustainable design education is a big initiative for Levi Strauss & Co.
RISD students, trained across a broad swath of disciplines, such as interior design and graphic art, will immerse themselves in a curriculum of ideas, color, texture and pattern in relation to the human form. The intensive five-week program, called Fabric Transformation Takes Form, began this week.
As Levi Strauss & Co. designers, my co-leader, Nada Grkinich, and I will bring real-world challenges to into the classroom. And they, in turn, will bring their fresh creativity to fabric manipulation, stitching and cutting. Together, we’ll circumvent the echo-chamber of the same-old design ideas, get feedback on new styles, and incorporate new thinking into real products.
One of my favorite parts about the program is the grand finale. We’re inviting additional designers from the Levi’s® brand to RISD for the final critique and to facilitate a group discussion about turning the spark of inspiration into innovative thinking.
I’m looking forward to watching my RISD students get the opportunity to shine with this hands-on experience.
Dillinger, center, with RISD students
Posted By: Paul Dillinger, Senior Director, Dockers® Global Design
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