open source fashion manifesto
The voice of Martijn van Strien, a designer, thinker and a speaker, is a rare one among the fashion industry. Calling for a change, Martijn van Strien’s projects aim to challenge existing norms and practices in the industry, showing different alternatives to the current reality. “Fashion and garments have the potential to make us proud, we can’t let our joy be spoiled by a sense of guilt over how their are made nowadays”, he explains. Testing radically different approaches to garment design, production and consumption, van Strien uses modern technologies to bring innovative ideas to the fashion world, promoting sustainability and open possibilities.
Fascinated by science, architecture and style, and inspired by open-source philosophy, van Strien strives to create a “circular future for the fashion industry”. His recently released publication “Open Source Fashion Manifesto” (2016) is an insightful statement of his vision.
The Manifesto, written in collaboration with Vera de Pont, addresses designers, businesses and consumers, offering a new point of view on fashion and expressing the urgent need in creating a more sustainable, fair and technology driven global system.
The shared vision for an Open Source Fashion, as described in the manifesto, offers a new perspective on how clothes are perceived and worn, suggesting an online based community where designs, materials and instructions are shared, allowing consumers to take an active part in the creation process.
“I want to stay relevant, have a voice. I want to be worn, and also re-used. I want to be designed to last for more than just one season. I want to be enjoyed by everyone without polluting our planet. I want to be produced by people who are happy and proud of what they make.“ (“Hello”, the opening monolog by “Fashion”)
The Manifesto opens with a quick review of the fashion industry and its malfunctions as perceived by van Strien; massive growth, massive consumption, massive disposal and a waste of resources. The gloomy introduction is followed by an elaborated text that takes the reader step by step through the possible revolution; “Show My Origin” promotes curiosity, transparency and sharing information. “Make Me Yourself” calls to involve consumers in the creation of fashion to add value, “Download Me Here” offers new ways of fabrication using digital formats, 3D printing, laser-cutting and easy access to designs.
Addressing the question of long-lasting products and minimizing waste, “Make Me Last” suggests a shift to “on demand” production, re-use of materials and modular garments that can be re-assembled. “You Made Me, Now Change Me” discusses the core qualities of the “procumer” (producer + consumer) while “Innovate Me Collectively” questions the current role of the designer, offering a new perspective on the designer as a connector, or facilitator within a community. Lastly, “Own Me Together” explores an interesting social model – a new era of common property and self organized communities with full responsibility over the life-cycle of the products.
To illustrate the vision of the “Open Source Fashion Manifesto”, Van Strien and De Pont created a unique tapestry for the outside of the Nieuwe Instituut building. The Outdoor Tapestry is developed at the TextielLab Tilburg and contains specifically selected yarns that make it fully weather and temperature-proof.
The tapestries contain three messages: ‘Make it last’, ‘Download me here’ and ‘You made it, now change it’. The time of day and type of light that hits the tapestry determines which message is visible. For this effect each phrase is woven from one high-tech yarn, either coloured, glow in the dark or reflective.
In addition to the manifesto, van Strien took part in the Fashion Revolution Week, offering the public all of the studio’s digital garment designs for free.
Lior Fisher Shiloni