The New Old: A Post Fashion Consumption Practice

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Degree Programme in Fashion and Clothing Design
Vaatetussuunnittelun ja pukutaiteen koulutusohjelma
The rapid changes of trend and style in fashion have inevitably caused clothing to become almost disposable, because staying current and ‘new’ is the motto. Subsequently, this fast-paced fashion phenomenon caused an abundance of fashion and textile wastage in general. And thus, the objective of this thesis work is to suggest a design framework to counteract this fashion phenomenon, and hoping to slow down its consumption. The New Old, as suggested by the title, is a paradox itself. It proposes ‘renew-old’ as a design strategy in addressing the issue of excessive textile and clothing consumption through the re-working of used garments. This research was done in two segments. The first part consists of theories and data collected from four selected Asian cities: Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, which includes questionnaires and interviews related to the used clothing culture in a particular city. This target group was chosen because the mentality of Asians in adorning used clothing is different from ‘Westerners’, usually related to taboos and perceptions affected by cultural, social, education and economic aspects. Hence, it was interesting to seek the differences between Asia and Europe in this aspect, where the Western culture shows such a great acceptance in wearing second-hand clothing. Besides, renew-old also have been discussed in a more detailed manner and comparison has been made with other seemingly similar yet different fashion terminology such as ‘recycle’ in order to distinguish the positioning of renew-old. Renew-old is thought of as an upcycling process in this research context. The second segment of the research was the actual renewing process from the used garments, contributed by the interviewees from the aforementioned Asian cities. The aim of the final execution was to demonstrate the possibilities of renewing-old garments and to put them into practice. Three approaches have been realised in each of the wearable, in which all the used clothing have been ‘assessed’ and segregated into parts before ‘mixing’ them together during the renewing process. Eventually, these renewed outfits were sent back to its owners, where they obligatorily ‘own’ a bit of something from another stranger of another city, which is almost similar to the action of buying second-hand clothing.
Niinimäki, Kirsi
Thesis advisor
Peltonen, Elina
renew-old, upcycling, second-hand clothing, fashion consumption, redesign, sustainable fashion, handmade, Asia
  • A production and an exhibition