What drew you to become a fashion designer?
I grew up with my grandmother. She had a sewing atelier in Slovakia, so I was surrounded by various kinds of textile materials and creative techniques from my early childhood.
We created clothes and also own textiles and patterns by using embroidery or printing. I felt in love with creative work and it is amazing feeling to see how the ides can grow under my hands. All of this inspired me to become a fashion designer.
Later I had a chance to study textile and fashion design on The Technical University of Liberec in the Czech Republic, but I found that customers want more than beautiful clothes.They want to feel good and they want a specific level of comfort and function. I changed my direction to clothing and textile engineering to boost my designs to higher level so I could give my customers more than clothes for one season.
Why was it important to you to offer a sustainable, responsible, Eco fashion line and how do you incorporate ideals such a Zero Waste into your work?
We are living in an age where it is necessary to think about future of our planet Earth, and also about the people who live on it. I prefer fair trade and sustainable materials. I try to reduce, reuse and recycle all materials which is really challenging. Real Zero Waste lines are possible in unisex lines or sports wear collections. When not possible, I try to recycle. And every big change starts with little changes, so why not to start with my designs to make the Earth better place?
Where do your find inspiration for new work?
Inspiration is something what I see all around me, especially when I'm traveling to different countries. I'm inspired by nature, people, colours, countries and their traditions. Sometimes I don't need too much to be inspired. For example, just the smell of some flowers or an impressive moment that I've experienced can inspire me. That's the beauty of this work.
What materials do you work with – organic, reclaimed, etc.?
I use natural materials which are in harmony with our health and with nature. It's also easier to recycle them and to create new products. I like to use cotton, wool, flax, silk. I also use new technologies and smart materials that extend life cycle of garments.
Sometimes it's really hard to choose right material according to purpose of garment. For example, accessories should be really durable so I have to use alternative materials, but I always choose biodegradable versions to be Eco-friendly.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an sustainable designer?
I think that biggest challenge is to create Eco-friendly, sustainable, high quality products for good price. We live in consumption society where the dynamic of change is more important than keeping traditions alive. With fast changing fashion we are loosing our own characteristic style.
Fast Fashion doesn't need customers with the style or a real story behind. Fast Fashion needs just buyer. I try to keep the story behind the gament because I think we are more important than trends and our clothes should highlight our character. As we are growing by experiences, our style should grow with us.
How do you help customers understand the higher cost of sustainable garments when they are so inundated with sweat shop-produced cheap merchandise?
This is very hard, I see the customers which are impressed by cheap merchandise, but I also see customers which are interested in sustainable garments and slow fashion which is good. It's important is to give them the information about products and to explain the differences between slow and fast fashion.
The advantage of sustainable, smart fashion is that once you have some garment, you can keep and enjoy it longer.
What can we look forward to seeing on the runway at Eco Fashion Week Australia 2018?
I'm bringing my Eco Line - WATER HYACINTH - to Eco Fashion Week 2018, which was created by using different Eco and smart materials. My women's line is created from Eco prints made by using two techniques - dry reflective print and dry laser print - with floral motifs . The accessories are made from roots of the water hyacinth.
I would like to show by this line, that we can live in a modern society, we can use modern technologies and we can also think about nature. This is the message I want to pass on to the audience.
How do you incorporate sustainable living in other areas of your life?
I reduce, reuse and recycle. As a fashion designer, I understand the that I have to think about how I use and consume materials. This brings challenges and boost my creativity.
Anything else you would like readers to know?
I am Ph.D. student at The Technical University of Liberec, teaching in the Department of Textile Engineering and I'm trying to merge 2 fields - textile engineering and textile & fashion design - because I see the gap in between this two fields. I think for modern designer, it is important to achieve balance in between creative and technical thinking to develop a good product.
As I have had a chance to be a part of various research projects for fabric development, such as 3D printed textiles, electromagnetic shielded textiles, textiles for extreme conditions, biodegradable textiles, Eco printing and dyeing and many others, I can see how we can reach the point of sustainable fashion. However, it's also about merchandising and business. We have to shift to choosing to purchase garments of value that will last rather than just consumption. It will take time, but we have to start now to make it easier for the next generations.
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Zuzana-Hrubos-Experimental-Art-Studio-196032914663/
- Website - http://leopardhrubos.wixsite.com/portfolio
- Smart textiles & design courses - https://designworkshops21.wixsite.com/smart
- Linked In - https://www.linkedin.com/in/zuzana-hrubos-bab019107/
- Research gate - https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zuzana_Hrubosova