This Pratt Graduate Challenges Fast Fashion, Unveils Her Upcycled Collection

by: Rosie Dalton | 3 years ago | News

Image: Margaret Burton’s graduate collection. Image source.

Over the past few seasons, we’ve begun to see a groundswell of designers questioning fashion’s breakneck pace and pushing back against the fast fashion mentality. But it’s the new guard of fashion graduates that we also need to inspire, in order to create a more positive outlook for fashion’s future. And Margaret Burton is a promising example of just that. A recent graduate of the Pratt Institute School of Design, Burton is passionately against fast fashion and has developed her senior thesis collection with that very rebellion in mind. According to Ecouterre, the collection is, in part, about questioning the retail strategy, which relies on a muddy network of high turnovers, tenuous social and environmental standards, and the constant quest for the bottom dollar in order to succeed. "Ultimately what drove me to make this collection is bringing more awareness to the fact that it's not just machines that are making your clothes; it's people," Burton explained in a video about her creative process. "And that things have become so cheap and so fast that people assume that it's a machine doing all the work."

Burton compares photographs of historical dress — “so tailored and fitted” — with today’s status quo. “Now you have fast fashion and things are so ill-fitted on the body,” she elaborates. And so, as a result, she decided to only use things that had already been made, when sourcing materials for her graduate collection. Her goal? To encouraging people to “stop buying so much” and to reconsider where their clothes actually come from. “I want people to gain a new perspective on fashion,” she says. “I want to unveil the glam that it’s so often portrayed as in magazines and bring it back to its rawness.”

The inspiration behind Burton’s collection first came from a trip to India; an experience that she describes as a real turning point for her. “I had the opportunity to go to India and there I visited some factories where all of our Western clothes get shipped,” she recalls. “It was just crazy to see the amount of clothes that were at these factories.” And so upcycling her materials provided the perfect answer — a way that she could push back against the damaging processes of fast fashion and the way it panders to society’s every whim and want. Since this was designed to be a bold statement, Burton didn’t bother to disguise the original origins of her repurposed goods, choosing instead to incorporate the original items’ clothing tags, logos, and distinctive prints into her designs. The result is a collection that’s honest, creative and beautiful, all at the same time.

Fashion Senior Addresses the Concept of Fast Fashion in Final Thesis Collection from Pratt Institute on Vimeo.

Via Ecouterre.

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