2023 Finalist: NETHASHA ABEYSINGHE
The design highlights the diverse cultures within New Zealand and illustrates how people bond together because of their different backgrounds.
The braided design symbolises the weaving together of the designer's upbringing in Sri Lanka and new home in New Zealand, with the two strands combining to form the person she is today. The design highlights the diverse cultures within New Zealand and illustrates how people bond together because of their different backgrounds.
Branded uniforms that have reached the end of their life are the waste stream tackled in this design. Living in central Auckland Nethasha has sourced directly from local textile collector Upparel, and used 6 branded workwear over jackets that were no longer wearable.
Strips of fabric have been used to create the braid pattern based on spring flowers. The old garments were cut into strips to maximise the use of materials and stitched together to give durability. Components were removed and the side seams of the original garments were used to give strength to the flower design. The unique nature of the design means that any size waste materials can be used, and then stitched and braided together to form the pattern.
The garment can be worn in many ways because of its uniqueness. It is also easily repairable and because all the hardware has been removed, can easily be recycled through Upparel at the end of its wearable life.
The judges commented on the garment's unique creative approach, its appeal to Gen Z, and its ability to raise awareness of textile waste textile.