Textiles students have been working on a drawing project that brings together data collection and analysis, and repurposing excess material to avoid it ending up in landfill.

The students have been asked to explore a range of techniques as part of the project, including making use of excess flip flop material that was donated by FlipFlopDesign.Shop.

“We sent them out to different locations within the university to gather data,” said Shirley McLauchlan, a Lecturer in Textiles who has led on some of the sessions, “they found out [things] like how many people were wearing a hat, how many people were carrying coffee cups – just normal, everyday things. We were trying to get them to be quite playful in their approach.”


"“With all things sustainable, I think, it takes time. Sometimes you’re given a material and it’s not quite what you want, so you have to adapt.”"

Shirley McLauchlan, Textiles Lecturer

After collecting their data, the students set about analysing and then representing it in an original pattern or piece of work, making use of the new techniques they were being taught along the way.

As well as that, the students were challenged to only use found materials they could repurpose for the project.

“I’d like them to consider where the materials come from and what we throw away all the time,” said Shirley, “I gave them all a package each that they opened and asked them ‘What could you do with this excess material?’”

Material being used as part of sustainability project
Edinburgh College of Art
Textiles students working on sustainability project
Edinburgh College of Art

By exposing students to these excess materials early on in their design careers it is hoped that they will value all materials and recognise the potential of excess.

“With all things sustainable, I think, it takes time. Sometimes you’re given a material and it’s not quite what you want, so you have to adapt,” said Shirley, “It’s almost about giving people to permission to play with it and explore it.”


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