Case study + campaign
2018-2019

We demand a healthier fashion system, and we as the younger generation are responsible for our environment in the future. “Minimize” is a campaign calling for slowing down and modifying the unhealthy system of the fashion industry. This campaign helps users who are frustrated with the treatment of worn-out clothing. The “minimize” recycling machine offers users a new system to recycle clothing.

Background

Textiles and clothing are a fundamental part of everyday life and an important sector in the global economy. It is hard to imagine a world without textiles. Clothes are worn by almost everyone, nearly all the time, and for many are an important expression of individuality. In the last 15 years, clothing production has approximately doubled, driven by a growing middle-class population across the globe and increased per capita sales in mature economies. The latter rise is mainly due to the ‘fast fashion’ phenomenon, with a quicker turnaround of new styles, increased number of collections offered per year, and—often—lower prices.

Desk research
01.

It is a linear and
disposable process

The current system for producing, distributing, and using clothing operates in an almost completely linear way. Large amounts of non- renewable resources are extracted to produce clothes that are often used for only a short period, after which the materials are largely lost to landfill or incineration. It is estimated that more than half of fast fashion produced is disposed of in under a year. This linear system leaves economic opportunities untapped, puts pressure on resources, pollutes and degrades the natural environment and its ecosystems, and creates significant negative societal impacts at local, regional, and global scales. The economic value of these negative externalities is difficult to quantify, although the recent Pulse of the fashion industry report estimated that the overall benefit to the world economy could be about EUR 160 billion (USD 192 billion) in 2030 if the fashion industry were to address the environmental and societal fallout of the current status quo.

02.

Clothing is massively
under utilised

The research, Timeout for Fast fashion, published today by Greenpeace Germany, shows how the fast fashion business is rapidly expanding: Clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014, with sales rising from US$ 1 trillion in 2002 to 1.8 trillion by 2015, and a forecast of 2.1 trillion by 2025. The average person buys 60 per cent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, producing immense volumes of textile waste.

03.

Fabric products mostly
end up in landfill

The importance of recycling textiles is increasingly being recognized. Over 80 billion garments are produced annually, worldwide. According to U.S. EPA, around 16 million tons of textile municipal solid waste (MSW) was generated in 2015, about 6.1% of total MSW generation. The rate for textiles derived from clothing and footwear was 14.2%, while the recovery for sheets and pillowcases was 16.3% for the same year. As such, textile recycling is a significant challenge to be addressed as we strive to move closer to a zero-landfill society. Once in landfills, natural fibers can take hundreds of years to decompose. They may release methane and CO2 gas into the atmosphere. Additionally, synthetic textiles are designed not to decompose. In the landfill, they may release toxic substances into groundwater and surrounding soil.

04.

Merely recycling clothes
is not a solution

As of today, recycling is not a solution. Markets are overloaded with unwanted clothes and technological challenges mean full recycling of clothing into new fibers is still far from commercially viable. “Our research indicates that the second-hand clothing system is on the brink of collapse. Fashion brands need to urgently re-think the throwaway business model and produce clothing that’s durable, repairable and fit for re-use. As consumers, we also hold the power. Before buying our next bargain item, we can all ask, ‘do I really need this?’,” said Brodde.

05.

Living wages are not
guaranteed for workers

A living wage should cover the basic living costs of three consumption units, which translates to one working adult, one child-caring adult and two children, for example, or one working adult and two elderly adults. In countries with no social security and no safety net to help people in need, it is vital that a wage ensures people can live in human dignity. It applies to all workers and there must not be any wage lower than this wage. It is reached within the standard working week, which is not more than 48 hours per week. It is made up of a basic wage before benefits, bonuses and overtime pay.

interview insights
After researching the current problems among the fashion industry, I interviewed the chair of the Fashion Design Program at CCA (California College of the Arts) and several potential users about what could be solutions to the problematic fashion industry.
Lynda G.

“...few people are fully aware of the human and environmental impact of its manufacturing life cycle: from fiber to cloth to clothing to landfill.”

Jane L.

“I have so many clothes in good condition but I don’t like to wear. I want to get rid of them but I don’t want to simply throw away them...”

Coco H.

“I’m very curious about where my clothes go after I thrown away or donated them.“

persona

How might we better recycle clothes and garments and let more people to participate recycling?

our service

01.

Neighborhood Recycling

“Minimize” machine provides users the most sustainable way of recycling clothes and garments. Users are able to find “minimize” stations at their closest neighborhood market.

02.

Track the destination of your worn-out clothes!

The tracking information will be recorded and able to check at any time through the “minimize” web page

03.

Receive bonus gift

“Minimize” helps to slow down the fast fashion system. Join “minimize” and receive bonus points every time a request has completed.

audience

Fashion lovers + environmentalists

“Minimize” helps fashion lovers who love consuming clothes but are frustrated by the problems caused by the fashion industry. Us3 “minimize” recycle fabric system and help create closed-loop recycling in the fashion system!

our technology

01.

Recycle Machine

“Minimize” campaign develops a recycle machine specializing in recycling clothes and garments.There will be a screen offered for users helping them put in worn-out clothes as easy as dumping trash in front of their houses.

02.

Mobile Website

“Minimize” mobile website will allow users to find the closest recycle station from their current location, check their bonus status, and track where their clothes will go.

Branding

• Logo

Minimize’ logo is inspired by the meaning of minimizing—shrinking, reducing to the extreme. The three dots of “I” are separated from the letterform and rescaled into three different sizes; it suggests the process of an ongoing project.

• Color

Minimize intends to give the feeling of popular and fashionable. Its color palette contains a dark navy blue, an orange-ish pink and light minty yellow.

#143668
R20 G54 B104
#ff6666
R255 G102 B102
#f5f5e6
R245 G245 B230

• Typography

Minimize looks for providing detail-oriented service that allows users to share online. The typeface should feel the same.

The Questa Project | Martin Majoor & Jos Buivenga | 2017
Auto Pro is made by Bas Jacobs, Akiem Helmling & Sami Kortemäki from Underware, 2004-14

Wireframe

product

storyboard

01.

Find
Stations

Get on Minimize webpage and search the closest Minimize station from the current location!

02.

Scan QR
code

Scan QR code to connect to users’ account.

03.

Track the destination

Minimize webpage will allow users to track where their clothes is going to be.

04.

Awards + share

After sign up, users will be able to receive a credit each time they finished a Minimize request. The users will get an award when they completely defeat a little monster and receive physical gifts from Minimize. Sharing is available to users at any moment of fighting against the little monster,

© 2020 by Alice Niu/All rights reserved