Exploring an Up-cycling Design Process for Apparel Design Education

Marilyn DeLong, Mary Alice Casto, Seoha Min, Gozde Goncu-Berk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The increased need to consider sustainability in the field of apparel is gaining awareness among designers, producers, marketers, and consumers who are currently considering their next moves in the arena of apparel products, design, and innovation. The paradox of fast fashion and the pursuit of modernity, alongside the need to care for the earth’s resources in a sustainable manner that includes social, economic, and environmental impacts, is a difficult dilemma. Many researchers have been looking at the problem from different perspectives; the focus here is on how we educate our students as soon-to-become design professionals. Up-cycling is one good strategy to protect ecosystems, because the goal of up-cycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones. In the process of up-cycling garments for sustainability the article considers what impact this has on the apparel design process and how students learn and must learn differently based upon this need. Participants including students and design professionals who undertake a project of up-cycling are surveyed about the differences they perceive in their design process. Results indicate that there are some opportunities that arise that need to be incorporated into our educational system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-68
Number of pages21
JournalFashion Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • design constraints
  • design process
  • satisfaction
  • sustainability
  • up-cycling process


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