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Eco-conscious design approaches introduced as early as the 1st year via the sweatshirt project

When learning to make the key pieces of our wardrobe, first year students throughout the ESMOD network are introduced to the sweatshirt, an essential, timeless, unisex, casual piece that has become synonymous with comfort. This garment also has its own codes as well, which ESMOD students quickly learn (i.e., raglan sleeves, ribbed edges, etc.)

As part of the ESMOD curriculum, students are tasked with designing a monochrome rendition of this item, which enables us to appreciate the details and craftsmanship. It is therefore essential that students work on this project with extra care and attention to detail. For a few years now, ESMOD has added another dimension to this assignment, and an added challenge for our students by requiring this design to be eco-conscious.

What is an eco-conscious sweatshirt? We’re glad you asked! It is a product for which the attention paid to the sourcing of materials and the manufacturing process are essential. Submissions for this project must meet at least one of the following criteria:

-Fabrics and/or accessories recovered from end-of-stock inventory

-Fabrics and/or accessories taken from used products (upcycling)

-Fabrics and/or accessories made of natural materials made via sustainable production methods (organic, biodegradable, Made in France, etc.)

-Design made with limited scraps or waste (zero waste)

This requirement, which is hardly limiting, allows our students to develop their creativity and technical skills in order to create a product with a lower ecological impact. Whether they recover ribbing from old garments, use recycled materials (plastic, neoprene, etc.,) use natural dyes, etc. our students prove that imagination and ingenuity go hand in hand with ecological awareness.

Here are some examples of eco-conscious sweatshirts made by students in the ESMOD France network, with explanations from the students themselves:

Antoine LANDAT

This piece questions the ephemeral, challenges it, and crystallizes it. We therefore try to approach this concept through nature and more particularly through flora. The latter embodies the race against time, against beauty. I was inspired by two elements. First, nature itself, which led me to the amaryllis. Secondly, by a series of photographs, "Plastic Flowers", that I had taken around the theme of flora under the current prism, that is, essentially polluted by man.

My approach therefore deals with the relationship between man and time; the notion of crystallizing the ephemeral made it was quite logical to use an existing sweater. So, I took an old garment from my closet, to imbed in it my design.

After selecting the sweater from my closet, I retrieved some old transparent plastic bags and used them to imprison the flora. Only the gabardine and the fleece (inlay) are new, although the gabardine was taken from fabric scraps. Finally, the flora was bought for the occasion. Of course, it was first used as a floral decoration in my home and it was ultimately recovered, faded.


Nowadays, fast fashion is contaminating the world; a widespread over-consumption of clothes with a short lifespan is becoming commonplace. We must find solutions to stop this phenomenon. That's why, within the framework of my sweatshirt project, I decided to follow an eco-responsible approach:

To do so, I decided to reuse a secondhand garment in order to reintroduce it in the consumption chain and give it a new life. My initial product was a pair of pants that I transformed to create a sweatshirt made of completely recycled materials.


This black monochrome sweatshirt is cut to waist length. The cut is straight just like the sleeves. The sleeves are long, and the cuffs are overlapped with a hem and sewn only halfway up the cuff so that you can put your hand through. The collar is a stand-up collar that can be folded down. And finally, this sweatshirt is finished with a double hem. The front panel was cut out of a recycled sweater, then covered with transparent transfer papers, cracked and overlaid on the V-neck and sides.

For this sweatshirt project, my main technique was upcycling. For the base of the sweatshirt I recovered fleece from Dior factory scraps. To make the front, the collar and the cuffs, I recovered two sweaters from my house. Finally, the last objective of this project was the durability of the garment, which is why these two pieces are very modular so that one won't tire of them as quickly.

Mathlide PITREL

Sweatshirt, long, wide hips, straight sleeves, ribbing on the cuffs, neckline and bottom of the garment.

A patchwork design draws the curve of the silhouette. It is highlighted by a gradient of orange to yellow. Embroidered circles outline the breasts. The sweatshirt is made of hemp fleece and dyed with turmeric.

Environmental benefits:

Turmeric vegetable dye: does not pollute aquatic environments; has no harmful effects on health or skin; plant remains are biodegradable; allows the creation of unique colors.

Hemp: requires little water (10 times less than cotton); cultivation does not require the use of pesticides; production is local; fiber does not undergo any chemical treatment that pollutes.

Moreno BENAT

Les anges et les démons, ce n'est que la dualité des hommes. De la lumière à l'obscurité. Les hommes font des ravages inéluctables depuis la nuit des temps. L’égoïsme, la barbarie encombre leur être jusqu'à les transformer pour toujours. Une seule fois suffis pour faire sombrer leur proie dans un abattement étouffant. La violence d'un corps sur un autre, cette main attendrissante qui devient ton plus grand ennemi. Une lumière blafarde, un voile de fumée ne laissent distinguer la réalité du cauchemar. Voila...une femme de plus qui sombre dans une affliction éternelle, une plaie incurable. "La Piéta" perdu son enfant, la femme perd sa liberté, on lui vole sa virginité et tout cela fait juste parti de notre société. Il est temps d'y réfléchir ; à nous de changer ça! Ni l'homme est un monstre, ni femme est victime. L'art, la mode se doit de mettre en lumière tout ces problèmes qui ne concernent non seulement les victimes, non seulement les femmes, mais nous tous. Mon sweat en est le témoin.

Photo Gallery of designs from ESMOD France

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