Convertibles Clothign Project

Useful information

Team members
Maija Nygren
United Kingdom
craft co-creation kids craft clothing kids clothing clothing kit craft kit biodegradable reusable extendable modular tactile educational sustainable circular local prosumer experiential

Short Description

Clothes for kids that kids can make, whilst making connections and learning life long skills.

Detailed Description

Children have little say in the making of their own clothing and craft skills are removed from school curriculums. This project introduces children in the craft of clothes making through tactile, hands-on experiences, in a playful way. The Convertibles come in a kit containing modular fabric panels with pre-planned holes, that the child threads a chunky wooden (blunt) needle and chunky soft yarn through. This activity allows the child not only to understand how clothes are made, but engages the child in the creative process of making clothes, personalising, exploring their own identity and expressing, whilst supporting STEAM skills: maths, dexterity, hand-eye coordination, creative thinking and problem solving skills, as well as translating 2-D form to 3D. The Convertibles are designed to grow along growth spurts by adding on more panels when needed, repaired after wild adventures and eventually the garment can be turned into a soft toy or a cushion, capturing the memories made.

Project Details

Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?

The project raises awareness in the lack of accessible craft education that contributes to a wide range of life long skills. The project also puts emphasis on biodegradable raw materials, and the importance of shifting away from petroleum derived fibres in clothing production to eradicate plastic micro-fibre pollution. Craft can have a positive impact on the mind, health and wellbeing and by allowing children an opportunity to gain skills in making, we offer them a doorway not only to potential professional development but equally importantly to a tranquil, mindful hobby that can be a helpful respite from the busy pace of the world.

Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?

The Convertible product range is designed circular. By it's modular construction, components can be replaced, repaired, removed or added on depending on the requirements of the wearer at any given time. The 'Join the Jumper' has been estimated to have a lifespan of minimum 5 years on a growing child, after which it can be turned into a soft toy or a cushion, continuing its life in further forms. The products are made locally in Scotland, at our Edinburgh micro studio, using biodegradable materials, currently, 100% Scottish spun wool, which by default is recyclable, reusable and will not contribute to micro-plastic pollution. The product demonstrates methods of repair, reuse and care of clothing to young children, from a young age.

Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?

This project, in its varies formats, can reach a a wide demographic, from individual customers buying the products kits for their children or grandchildren, to educational institutes, early learning organisations adopting this concept as a learning tool for their learners. The workshop models allows the Convertible Clothing concept to be accessible to many, internationally, through a variation of using second hand clothing to create a Convertible garment, with access to downloadable patterns to create their own. This project offers a variety of free of charge craft workshops, offering an opportunity for everyone to engage with craft, from an early age.

Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?

The product is a real life demonstration of designing a product - for life, from the selection of raw materials, manufacturing and through to life in use as well as, end of life. By engaging with this product, the user experiments with methods of repair, reuse and care of clothing, opening up an understanding of sustainable practices and material flows at a young age, leading to an aware mindset of clothes consumption in later life.