The Guardian

At first appearance, Dan Vo’s new range of wool jackets for men appear to be pieces of well-made clothing with the price tag to match. Behind that appearance however is a precise method of design, where every part of the jacket has been cut exactly from a piece of fabric in a jigsaw pattern to ensure there is now waste of material in making it.

Vo, a Scotland-based fashion designer, has designed a coat in which the uncut arms, collar, front, back, pockets and other sections all fit together perfectly on the piece of fabric. When they are cut out to make the jacket, she can then avoid wasting material, as is typically the case when conventional coats are made.

‘If you had a normal pattern, you would have every single individual piece lying next to each other but it would not be so close to be attached so you have gaps in between. They cute around it so you have pieces there that you cannot use. And the way that I try to construct it is that every single thing matches,’ she said.

Originally from Germany of Vietnamese descent, Vo is a proponent of the ‘Zero Waste’ movement within the fashion industry, which aims to create little or no waste from producing clothes. In many cases, when a piece of clothing is being cut at present, she said, between 15% and 30% of a piece of fabric can be wasted as the designer cuts.

To eliminate waste, Vo takes a 200cm by 145cm piece of fabric and fits the various pieces of arms and pockets in a jigsaw around the front and the back of the coat.

Similar methods of exacting measurements to cut down on waste have also been used in house construction in recent years.

Positioning the patterns in this way eliminates wastage, but takes more time, Vo says.


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