The Patch Project

In the course Sustainable Practices students from all majors work in groups to develop projects responding to issues of social, ecological and economic sustainability. This year after noticing how much fabric waste was in the fashion studios, a group of four fashion seniors (Alexander Slizeski, Katie Gementera, Xiaoyun Yuan, Yoriko Kukita) came up with the idea of the patchproject: a sewing workshop on how to make bags out of the tons of fabric we fashion students usually waste and throw away in the bins.

The final project, led by faculty member Kathryn Frost, was open ended. This workshop was envisioned as a community project open to all students and faculty which focuses not only on sustainability, but also skill sharing amongst multiple disciplines. The concept is simple: create your own tote bag and learn new skills in the process. The three main goals for the project were to: teach sewing skills that can be used in real life, reduce fabric waste for the Parsons Paris fashion studios, and promote the design process and problem solving skills. The result is a custom tote bag designed to hold school supplies.

Fashion students were on hand to teach participants how to create the tote bag.

The basic pattern, shape and form was provided for participants, but the idea was that students could customize their bag to their own style and desire.

For many participants this was their first time ever using a sewing machine.

A look at some of the final designs.

The idea is that this was just the first of what will become an ongoing workshop at Parsons Paris for years to come. By the end students were excited to make more bags, felt like the fashion studies were less scary, and there’s already a greater mindfulness around school regarding what happens waste waste.