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How Andrea Freydig, BFA Fashion Design Student, Creates Sustainable Collections

Andrea Freydig BFA Fashion
Photographer: Katya Galan Models: Jazz-Ella, Lise, Farrah. Fashion: Andrea Freydig, Freydig Avila

Recently, we had a chat with BFA Fashion Design student Andrea Freydig, to learn more about the behind-the-scenes of her most recent upcycled collection and why sustainability is so essential to her work.

Tell us a little bit about your collection.

My collection is called Freydig Avila, my two last names in honor of my parents who have always inspired me and whom I aspire to be like. My collection is all about protection of the individual from danger. Either in the streets or at home. A shield to protect us as much as we protect our phones, houses or cars. To feel empowered and capable of anything to come for any gender.

I have done this with:

  • Inspiration from nature, since it already has all the answers. Studying how animals and plants protect themselves from predators with thorns, camouflage or changing sizes.
  • Transformability where my garments can transform from a loose jacket into a mini cropped one, from a long dress to a mini dress or from pants to shorts.
  • Many pockets also have hidden pockets to secure all your belongings as well as mini ones to palace an air tag or GPS tracker for your friends and family to know where you are if you wish to.
  • The lining inside some of the garments have illustrations of self defense.
  • Odd and tricky closures so your clothes cannot be torn easily.
  • Motorcycle clothes that are made to protect the rider.
  • Spy gadgets

Spy gadgets? That’s fascinating! You have such an attention to detail when it comes to developing a concept. So what inspired you to create a collection made exclusively from upcycled materials? Do you want to continue working this way?

I have worked with mostly upcycled material since four years ago. It really started since I couldn’t believe the industry I was in, which I loved so much was the #2 most polluting industry in the world not only but also 20% of global water waste in the world. This led me to learn about upcycling, I fell in love with the technique then realized I was already doing it by fixing anything in my closet with pins or hair ties. Which I am sure you have done yourself as well.

Before leaning towards upcycling I tried different things. Creating fabric out of the scoby of kombucha turning into not the best result. As well creating bioplastic which was also not a success.

Instead of complicating things I landed on upcycling. I soon realized:

  • 8,019,876,189 people live in this world.
  • Most of us have to clothe ourselves (unless you live in a nude place!) Since the Paleolithic era we have clothed ourselves.

This all means that there are tons and tons of existing garments for generations to come. Making this the most available resource for fashion. So yes, I will continue to implement this in my work.

That’s a good point. We all seem to have more clothing than we could possibly need or know what to do with anymore. Still, how do you balance sustainability without limiting your creativity? Can you really find everything you need from existing clothing items?

I do not have to balance it, it makes my life even easier, and is quite fun as well. I go thrifting looking for shapes, colors, patterns, interesting stitchings, fabrics or extras in clothes, old curtains or anything fabric. I of course wash them then start to combine them.

I believe it can be difficult to think of old things, used things or even “trash” as material to create from. Because we live in a generation where every new thing is so appealing or maybe we have some bias towards the idea of reusing.
It does not have to be that way, for example we can create the same quality of art in a white new canvas, then the leftover carton of your delivery box.

I also think it is my responsibility as a creative person in this generation, to create with what we already have then to generate more waste.

What a good answer! I love your perspective that choosing to work sustainably is not a sacrifice but an asset to your creativity. Lastly, is there anything you would you like to share with other young artists and designers who have concerns over creating waste when, well, creating?

My advice is to think of anything as a medium and use everything at your disposal. Try to create less waste by rethinking what your waist really is. The plastic package of your scissors or brushes can somehow work in a future or current project. As well as USE LESS WATER!

And remember we humans have lived on this earth for over 300,000 years. Imagine how many things already exist, do you really need everything new?

Many thanks to Andrea for sharing her process and words of wisdom!

Photographer: Katya Galan
Models: Jazz-Ella, Lise, Farrah.
Fashion: Andrea Freydig, Freydig Avila
Interviewer: Meredith Chadwick

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