I was shocked when I heard that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, behind oil. Until then, I had never really made the connection between clothing production and industrial pollution; when I would look at my clothes I hardly thought about who actually made them or how they were manufactured. The way clothing is presented to us in stores, online, on the runway, or in the media, hides the amount of labor and resources that went into their creation. From the cultivation of their raw materials all the way through to their eventual disposal, our garments lifespans have a much greater impact than we tend to think. A large part of the problem is due to “fast-fashion,” the acceleration of trends, production, and consumption. If fashion is speeding up, how can we slow down?

For my senior design thesis project I decided to focus on this issue by designing a small publication, The Case for Grails. I wanted to bring light to the issue while providing a practical framework for anyone to change their personal buying habits. While creating this publication, I had to take into consideration effective rhetoric, historical context, consumer behavior, and the psychology of dress. The process employed the synthesis of a variety of skills and research methods that I have learned and practiced throughout my career as a student, artist, and designer. Overall, my goal was to address fashion’s global sustainability issue by encouraging us as consumers to think critically about the clothes we wear and buy, thus empowering us to make more informed decisions on an individual and societal level. Our collective decisions fuel the industry, and realizing this, we have the power to change it.

Aside from the quotes, all the writing and images used in this book are my own.


The project installation on display at the USF Senior Art + Design Thesis Exhibition.