A Designer Contribution to the Use of CNC Machines Within the Supply Chain in Order to Extend Clothing Life Span

  • Elisabeth Jayot


The garment industry—the second most polluting industry worldwide—called for a global transition to a circular economy at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit (2017). This led us to study how modularity could contribute to reconcile extended clothes life span with the pleasure of fashion renewal. While the history of garments has been familiar with removable and reversible systems, contemporary clothing seems to resist the reusable spare parts concept developed in sustainable object designs. Consequently, sewn garments, preponderant since the Paleolithic, needed to be questioned. Transposing to clothing G. Simondon’s open object philosophy through practice-based prospective, we propose, in response to the fabless system of fast fashion, a local and on-demand production—inspired by fablabs—of seamless modular clothing, thus opening up new avenues to digital pattern trade in light of computer numerical control (CNC) technologies. Such a systemic approach led us to rethink the roles of both the user and the fashion designer.


Fablab CNC machines Local on demand production Customization Modular clothing Open Object Reusable spare parts User involvement Garment extended life span 

Further Reading

  1. Black, S. (2008). Eco-chic: The fashion paradox. London: Editions BlackDog.Google Scholar
  2. Black, S. (2012). The sustainable fashion handbook. High Holborn: Editions Thames and Hudson.Google Scholar
  3. Brooks, A. (2015). Clothing poverty: The hidden world of fast fashion and second-hand clothes. London: Editions Zed Books.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, S. (2013). ReFashioned: Cutting-edge clothing from upcycled materials. London: Editions Laurence King.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, S., & McQuaid, M. (2016). Scraps: Fashion, textiles, and creative reuse: Three stories of sustainable design. New York: Editions Cooper-Hewitt Museum.Google Scholar
  6. Chapman, J. (2005). Emotionally durable design: Object, experience, empathy. London: Editions Earthscan.Google Scholar
  7. Cline, E. L. (2013). Overdressed: The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion. New York: Editions Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  8. Fletcher, K. (2008). Sustainable fashion and textiles: Design journeys. London: Editions Earthscan.Google Scholar
  9. Fletcher, K., & Grose, L. (2012). Fashion and sustainability, design for change. London: Editions Laurence King.Google Scholar
  10. Kadole, P., Sarika, B., & Pravin, U. (2013). Direct pattern on loom: An innovative method of garment construction. Journal of Textile Science & Engineering, 3(131).
  11. McQuillan, H., & Rissanen, T. (2015). Zero waste fashion design. London: Editions Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  12. Meltzer, B., & Von Oppeln, T. (2016). (sous la direction de), Rethinking the modular. London: Ed. Thames & Hudson.Google Scholar
  13. Simondon, G. (2012). Du mode d’existence des objets techniques. Paris: Editions Aubier.Google Scholar
  14. Simondon, G. (2014). Sur la technique. Paris: Editions PUF 480p.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Jayot
    • 1
  1. 1.Doctoral School Arts and AestheticsUniversité Paris 1 Panthéon-SorbonneParisFrance

Personalised recommendations