• Ecover Introduces Green Closet Designer Tara St. James of Study New York

    Jul 23, 2012 | By Tara

    My name is Tara St James and I’m a Brooklyn-based designer of an ethically made women’s label, Study NY.  I launched Study in the Fall of 2009 with its inaugural collection entitled The Square Project.  The collection focused on a zero-waste patternmaking philosophy and used recycled or sustainable textiles.  Since that collection I have focused on a different aspect of sustainability within the production chain each season.  From patternmaking I moved on to weaving, knitting, dyeing, printing and felting to more obscure concepts like transparency in production.

    Every summer I run a program called Study Hall which invites fashion & textile design students to intern for the brand while they work on their own design, which will be marketed and sold alongside the main collection with their name on the label. Study Hall is now in its 3rd season and continues to grow. During the summer of 2011 we worked with AirDye technologies to print one of the alumni-designed graphics on a recycled polyester mesh using a waterless printing technique. This summer we are playing with digital printing on organic cotton, as well as shibori dyeing techniques using a natural indigo dye bath.

    I also believe education is a very important part of the process of changing consumers’ attitudes towards ethical design. I lecture as much as I can on my work, and try to help fellow emerging designers with the design and sourcing process. Slowly, I see a change in the next generation of designers; they incorporate sustainability into their process right from the start, which is refreshing and encouraging.

    Study was the recipient of the 2011 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation grant for sustainable design. We presented our Fall 2011 collection at New York fashion week with Ecover as one of our like-minded eco-sponsors. I try to be very thoughtful of the life cycle of the garments I design, and a clean washing option is very important to this life cycle. I’m proud to partner with Ecover on Green Closet projects and hope we can work together to change the way people think about their clothing.

    Tara St James

    STUDY, making fashion without making waste

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