Winner: VIVA Editorial Award

The Cockroach outfit subverts furniture removal blankets with modern tailoring.

William’s design utilises three shoddy furniture removal blankets, made of waste wool and polyester, along with production remnants and scrap. These blankets were made in Onehunga from materials that were considered unusable waste.

The genesis of the design was thinking about the very end of life of fabrics. In this case shoddy. Developed in the early 1800’s, shoddy is cheap, utilitarian and was once widely used.

Reclaiming this once utilised material challenges the societal conventions around what a fashion fabric is. The Cockroach is the ultimate scavenger and survivalist which ties across to practices through the fashion industry.

The outfit is made entirely out of waste materials, and the material itself is infinitely recyclable. Being a high wool percentage, shoddy carries the beneficial properties of the fibre; water absorbent, antimicrobial, insulating, robust.

The multifunctional piece has longevity through aesthetic and, due to the felted nature and haphazard conglomeration of the fabric, it is easily and inconspicuously mended and maintained, adding great longevity to the garments.

In presenting a garment that is shamelessly and clearly a recycled product, the designer aims to showcase and embrace the sustainable work already in place around Auckland today.

The judges commended this outfit for challenging the norms, its beautiful craftsmanship and the consideration of wearability.