HSAD Fashion Students Explore Sustainable Design

School’s out for the summer—almost. But for the High School of Art and Design’s (HSAD) Fashion Department, the most stressful part of the year is over.

More than 125 students from 9th through 12th grades took part in “Sustainable Product Development in the Fashion Industry,” a program that kicked off in the fall of 2015 and culminated in “Concept Sustainability: The Fashion Show” on May 12 at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA).

BF+DA subsidized the manufacturing of more than 45 garments for 15 finalists, who got to experience the hands-on process of design meetings, creating technical design packages through techpacker.com, fabric and trim sourcing, and garment fittings, in addition to the final fashion show.

Each student designed within a category: career wear, sponsored by Limitless La Vie; sleep and loungewear (Underfashion Club); and High Concept Fashion (Priscilla Wood Foundation). After showing their collections on the night, students with the top three designs won scholarships totaling $14,000.

But that’s not all. Throughout the year the students got to learn about the ethical value of sustainable fashion by designing with sustainable textiles, thanks to program partner Lenzing, as well as understand manufacturing and resourcing locally and responsibly with BF+DA, MCM Enterprise and Dynatex. They also got to design denim collections using upcycled fabric and clothing with Lucky Brand Jeans.

Other highlights from the year included the 10th grade using a sustainable cellulose fiber to create knit gowns based on the concepts of Madeleine Vionnet and Halston, while the Textile Arts Center taught 11th grade designers how to make a loom and weave original designs from upcycled fabrics and trims.

According to HSAD, “In the short time we have started this program, our students are starting to become more specific within their fashion college major because of a better understanding of different careers in fashion. Also, through the fashion show our students gain confidence, resilience and perseverance through creating a production showcasing their work.”