Material Directions AW 2023/24: Find

This story suggests a dystopian take on the future. With no virgin materials, everything must be extracted from the ruins and relics of former objects. In this Anthropocene age, waste has become a resource rather than a liability.

We are drowning in our own waste. Even before the pandemic, the world was producing 2.1 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste every year, of which only 16 per cent is recycled. Now Covid-19 has generated oceans of PPE waste to add to the mix.

All this makes waste even harder to ignore, and the necessity for action grows stronger. Young designers are increasingly turning to waste as a resource or raw material, accepting that recycling isn’t enough and that more needs to be done on a fundamental level. Part of this theme is about unlikely material taboos, overcoming disgust and seeing all forms of waste as a resource.

In terms of visual identity, there’s a haphazard, unconsidered charm here that leads on naturally from our previous story Kingdoms (SS 2023). There’s a shape shifter quality here too, as products morph from one use to another.

Find was first published in MIX Magazine issue 67, and the following material, colour and finish directions explored in more detail in our AW 2023/24 CMF Directions.



Rudimentary Neutrals 

Functional, everyday neutrals that suggest their original source combine easily here. The flat quality of Ever Grey is a quiet backdrop to the more comforting familiarity of yellowed Brown Paper. Oil Black, with its slick green undertone brings a defining edge to a combination with limitless applications from conceptual to automotive, fashion and homewares.



Selvedge Edge



In Find, finish directions are purposefully frayed and unrefined for an incomplete aesthetic, as explored in DZHUS’ SS 2022 Collection.



Hella Jongerius experiments with three-dimensional weaving to create raw, multi-layered basket constructions in the Unfoldable Cubes series as part of the Crafts Council Nederland’s exhibition HOW&WOW BASK IT! Handwoven textile offcuts are cut, patchworked and overlocked, accentuating raw construction as a finish detail by Luna Del Pinal. 

In addition, Fiona Lynch Office’s Belgian linen seating collection explores selvedge as component for finish.






Pattern is guided by the structures of offcuts. Atelier La Gadoue re-assembles men’s shirts into curtains and pillows. The arrangement and palette of Tapestry Dunkerque is informed by the waste resource.



The repaired sock installation by Start.mending addresses how material preservation can be a rational solution to climate concerns.



Work with Material and Colour?

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Image credits from top:

Envisions x Brain of Materials | Fibers Unsorted | Unsorted post-consumer textile waste | Photo Ronald Smits; © Colour Hive; DZHUS | SS22 collection: Physique | SUBSTITUTE 8-way transforming piece | Photo Alexy Ponomarev; Hella Jongerius for Crafts Council Nederland | Unfoldable Cubes | 3D weaving techniques | HOW&WOW BASK IT! | Photo Fan Lio; Fiona Lynch Office | WORKSHOP x FUTURE ARCHIVE | Furniture made from reclaimed building materials, custom pigment sourced from waste metal and brick | Photo Tess Kelly; Atelier La Gadoue | Tapestry Dunkerque | 100% upcycled materials, men's shirts, handmade composition and confection, industrial quilting in Belgium; Start.mending in cooperation with the Latvian Academy of Arts, Sigulda Devon Cultural Centre, Malpils Cultural Centre and craftsman of the region | IF YOU WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD, START MENDING SOCKS; Chelsea Vivash | Marquetry abstract | Veneer o.cuts, walnut, dyed tulipwood, dyed oak, walnut burl and wood veneers backed onto birch plywood and framed in pine