An Inquiry into Gradable Zero-Waste Apparel Design


The implementation of standardized grading production practices within the mass market has been challenging for scholars experimenting with zero-waste apparel design. The purpose of this research was to test the efficacy of the Carrico Zero-waste Banded Grading (CZWBG) technique, which utilizes bands inserted in strategic locations as a method of grading zero-waste patterns across various consumer categories. An additional purpose was to evaluate the ways in which this grading approach affected the aesthetic outcomes of garments across a size run, and to determine whether this method affected the overall design process of the designers involved. Through experimental research design, six design scholars successfully tested and incorporated the CZWBG technique in zero-waste one or two-piece apparel item(s), subsequently developing three sizes in an industry-specified size range for their product category. Each design was cut from zero-waste patterns in a mid-range size and graded up and down one–two sizes using an industry-standardized grading scale. The grading was achieved by varying the widths and lengths of strategically inserted bands of fabric or trim. The designers utilized various grading methods, textiles, pattern development methods, and size runs, showing that the CZWBG technique can successfully be applied across multiple consumer categories in the apparel industry.


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Grading, Patternmaking, Slow fashion, Zero-waste


Carrico, M., Dragoo, S.L., McKinney, E., Stannard, C., Moretz, C., & Rougeaux-Burnes, A.. 2022. An Inquiry into Gradable Zero-Waste Apparel Design. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14(1).