What do you do to an idea has been thrown away? What if you bundle them up and make something new? Collection Precious-Less collaborates with some of the PhD students from NYU Center for Date Science. This time ZHUO focus on the material again, by starting from collecting the paper waste that the students used everyday from their work/study. The paper with thoughts, inspiration, excitements and doubts, kept it’s own characteristic but flow into a new shape, new spirit. Precious-Less is trying to tell a story about “value” through the contrast and harmony between discarded material-paper and precious metal.
Hi Zhuolin,thank you for taking some time for this interview. What is the first thing our readers need to know about you and your brand?
ZHUO is a New York based Fashion brand for sustainable clothing and accessories. We research environmental-friendly methods of making clothing and accessories. We work/collaborate with people coming from different industries.
Is there a significance behind the name ZHUO?
The name “ZHUO” is a Chinese character with multiple layered meanings: polish, refine and think. The name signifies the opposite of fast fashion.
As a sustainable fashion brand,what kind of materials do you use in your work?
I am always fascinated by experimenting with different types of unconventional material, even if they are not commonly used in the fashion industry. We have worked with medical film, recycled plastic and recycled paper waste incorporated with precious metals.
Could you describe to us your design process?
I don’t have a specific formula when it comes to design. Sometimes I start with a fabric experiment. Sometimes I start with researching a very specific social topic. I also like making color collages and writing down my thoughts or key words in my notes to help me to brainstorm. Then I will be able to gather all different elements and evaluate through my own perspective, which is the most important part and it is also why I do all the research at the beginning — you may question yourself “why do I use vermilion but not crimson red?”
This year ,you presented the collection “Precious-Less” at the NYFW for the first time, how was the experience?
It was a great experience. All the hard work has been done. We collaborated with different brands during the show and it went really well.
Tell us a bit about the collection? How was it created?
This collection is called ”Precious-Less”, which is trying to tell a story about “Value”. Usually paper wouldn’t be considered to be used in the traditional jewelry industry, leave alone paper waste. which sounds nothing related to the words “value”. For many years, the jewelry industry worked on different materials: shells, stones, metal, etc, and most of the time, the precious jewelry pieces are always worked with precious stones and metals. So what we are trying to ask is what do we think of “value”? Is gold and diamond more valuable than paper? well… What about a designer’s sketchbook, or a scientist’s note paper? Do you say they are less valuable than diamonds? So this is what we are trying to discuss in our collection: that everything is valuable if we use it in a good way. We want to see the response from the audience.
In your opinion,what is the most important problem in the fashion industry to address right now?
You know, ZHUO was actually born in the early pandemic. The initial thoughts were to stay sustainable. At that special time, I sensed what should be the priority in the world right now as a designer. A lot of us are not aware that we excessively consume products in daily life. To me, sustainable fashion is more than just addressing fashion textiles or products. It’s about every step involved in the entire industrial chain. It has so many problems and needs more action.
Where do you think the industry is heading, what is the future of fashion?
I believe that more and more designers will focus on sustainable design. People’s attitude toward fashion consumption, and hopefully consumption in general, will gradually change.
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