The world of fashion has often been critiqued for its lack of sustainable practices when both creating and selling garments. In recent years we have become aware of the bleak reality of fast fashion and it’s effect on both the workers who make these items and the long lasting damage to the environment. One material that has highly been criticised for this is Denim.
The manufacturing process of Denim has proved harmful to the environment due to the dyes, chemicals, washes and mass water consumption needed in order to create a denim garment. Over 10% of the world’s population are currently unable to access clean water. When looking at statistics like this, we are forced to question the ways in which we contribute to wasteful production.
Thankfully the fashion industry is seeing more and more upcoming creatives with sustainability in mind when designing. We caught up with Tiffany Maynard, a fashion designer who is using up-cycled denim for the launch of her new label MAY by TM.
Hey Tiffany, could you tell us a bit about yourself & your creative background?
“Hey, I’m Tiffany. I’m a fashion designer based in London and a LCF graduate. I’ve had various design roles within the industry in both womenswear and menswear brands, and most recently designing bags for my own brand MAY by TM.“
What was your inspiration behind the collection?
“So I wanted to experiment with Denim as a fabric and I wanted to also explore the design possibilities. I was very inspired by the use of denim in the early 2000s and how denim was used in such a creative way to set trends. Denim is also a statement piece for everyone’s wardrobes so I wanted to create something, which was innovative as well as long lasting.”
How would you describe the MAY brand to someone who is unfamiliar with it?
“MAY is a slow and ethical fashion brand with an emphasis on cultural representation. We combine descriptive print and surface decoration with traditional street-wear aesthetic. We want our consumers to feel a sense of individuality and self expression whilst wearing our pieces.”
Previously you have focused on menswear. How was it making the transition to creating bags instead of clothing?
“The transition was fairly easy. My studies at university included design and pattern cutting so I applied what I knew to make the bags. In terms of trends, I focused mainly on womenswear and also unisex trends.”
What was the design and making process like working with up-cycled denim?
“It was difficult at times because each bag is made with a different piece of denim. However ultimately it was really fun and allowed me to explore a new area within design. I sourced the denim from old pairs of jeans and jackets. I hand painted the print on every bag, which makes each item a one off piece.”
What do you think needs to be done in order to make the fashion industry more sustainable?
“I think that the spotlight on fast fashion brands needs to be taken off. Fast fashion is extremely unhealthy and unethical. I understand its not always easy for every brand to be completely sustainable, however implementing sustainable practices such as recyclable packaging or using organic fabrics would be a game changer. Also sustainability is cool and it should be viewed that way. I think more fashion influencers who have a platform should start tapping into this.”
Interesting you mention the influencer industry. How do you think the rise in social media has affected fast fashion?
“I think it’s both good and bad. I think social media has made fashion more accessible to some, for example I see a lot more options for plus sized women. However I do think that there is a materialistic side to influencer culture that feeds into making deals with fast fashion brands.”
Do you have any advice for those interested in up-cycling & making their wardrobe more sustainable?
“I’d say have a look on YouTube! There are quite a few YouTubers who upcycled their old clothes into new pieces. If you’re someone who’s not as much into D.I.Y I would recommend donating your clothes to charities or selling them online. Also purchase from small business brands that are sustainable.”
How did you find it launching during a lockdown?
“Launching during lockdown was cool, I think lockdown gave me the opportunity to find a gap within my industry that was slow fashion.”
What can we expect from MAY in the future?
“You can expect a new capsule collection soon for 2021. Some more accessories, as well as new apparel garments. I’m very excited.”
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
|The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".