Zero Waste Denim

Parsons Exhibition Showcases Cutting Edge Approach to Sustainable Design; Loomstate to Produce Student-Designed Fashion as part of Fall Collection

Zero-Waste Denim

On View February 8-23, 2011
The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
Parsons The New School for Design
66 Fifth Avenue, New York

Opening Reception:
Tuesday, February 8, 6-8 pm

NEW YORK, February 2, 2011—Parsons The New School for Design and Loomstate will showcase a collaboration to create zero waste denim fashions in an exhibition on view at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons, February 8-23, 2011. An opening reception will take place Tuesday, February 8, from 6-8 pm.

Through muslin prototypes, garment patterns, video and photography, the exhibition will provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at this cutting-edge approach to sustainable design, which is the focus of a new course of study at Parsons. Through the school's collaboration with Loomstate, Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn's eco-friendly label, they will produce one of the student-designed looks as part of their Fall 2011 collection. The selected look will be announced at the opening reception.

"Zero waste fashion is an innovative design process that produces no fabric waste. In effect, patternmaking becomes an integral part of the process, creating a richer, more sustainable design practice," said Simon Collins, dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons.

Timo Rissanen, Parsons new assistant professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability and an expert in zero waste fashion taught this inaugural course. Over a 15-week period this past fall, students learned the intricacies of designing zero waste garments, as well as the unique qualities of designing with organic cotton denim. Scott Mackinlay Hahn and Rogan Gregory, the founders of Loomstate, served as mentors on the project, educating students about such issues as sourcing, dyeing, finishing, and energy consumption with respect to organic denim. The two will continue to serve as mentors to the winning student in the making of the garment from development through final production.

"Parsons produces some of the top talent in the industry, and we were impressed with its commitment to challenging students to rethink the design and manufacturing process within the context of sustainability," said Hahn of Loomstate "We founded Loomstate in 2004 to raise awareness and create demand for certified organic cotton produced through socially and environmentally responsible methods."

Beginning with the design process in its New York studio, Loomstate directly manages all stages of manufacturing, from the fabric mills, to the cut-and-sew and dying facilities, and finally the laundries, to ensure all partners are participating in responsible manufacturing processes. Loomstate works with factories representing the model of excellence of responsible production methods. All Loomstate factory partners are required to adhere to a code of conduct and must use the highest environmental and labor standards, controlling factory pollution, and enforcing fair labor as the cornerstone of the effort. Loomstate uses 100 percent certified organic cotton from various regions of the world such as Turkey, Peru, Africa, India and the USA.

Zero-Waste Fashion is one of a number of sustainable design initiatives in the School of Fashion at Parsons. This spring, students in Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program are collaborating with an industry partner to examine ways of extending the life-cycle of a garment; and Parsons AAS Fashion Marketing and students in the Communications Design and Technology programs at Parsons, are collaborating with the innovative advertising agency Droga 5 (the agency behind the "Great Schlep" campaign of the last presidential election), to research sustainable care practices and develop a global branding campaign called "Wash Cold," which focuses on the benefits of washing garments in cold water to save energy. In addition, students in the BFA Fashion Design program are collaborating with students across Parsons in the Solar Decathlon, a biannual global competition to design and build a solar-powered home, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Parsons students will be designing a sustainable wardrobe for inhabitants of the home, which takes into account energy use and consumption.

Parsons The New School for Design is one of the most prestigious and comprehensive institutions of art and design in the world. Since its founding in 1896, Parsons has been a pioneer in design education. This visionary leadership has led to five generations of graduates who are some of the most highly recognized individuals in their fields. With the establishment of the first fashion design program in America in 1906, Parsons is credited with giving birth to Seventh Avenue, the epicenter of American fashion. Notable fashion designers who studied at Parsons include industry leaders Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi, Narciso Rodriguez and Anna Sui; and rising talents Prabal Gurung, Derek Lam, Proenza Schouler, Peter Som, Vena Cava, Ohne Titel, Alexander Wang and Jason Wu. For more information, please visit

The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board Chair Sheila C. Johnson. The design by Lyn Rice Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.

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General Information
Location: 66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street, New York
Gallery hours: Open daily 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; closed all major holidays and holiday eves.
Admission: Free
Info: Please contact 212.229.8919 or visit


79 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10003


Media Contacts:

Deborah Kirschner,
The New School
[email protected]

Berrin Noorata,
[email protected]

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