Drawing attention to the harmful effects of plastic pollution on our planet with her latest ‘Clear Ambition’ collection is the Holly Docherty. She illustrates the incessant environmental damage, conflicted by consumer demands and finds it important to respond to this in her work. In light of her most recent feature as part of our Global Young Talent in the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, we had the pleasure of speaking to the Heriot-Watt University alumna about the importance of pushing the boundaries and questioning traditional concepts.

You will soon be graduating from Heriot-Watt University in fashion technology where does your love for fashion stem from?

I started to develop my passion for Art and Design and in a particular fashion in high school. I adopted a creative mindset and with the help of my art teacher, I was introduced to various materials and sampling techniques that developed my expressive design ideas into final pieces.
 
 
"My collection explores the idea, that recycled plastic fabric can be used and re-purposed in everyday womenswear. The shapes and structure reflect the fluid life forms in the ocean." 




 
What was the main source of inspiration behind your graduate collection?

In university, I was made aware of the importance of sustainability and reducing environmental damage. I felt compelled to embrace this issue through my designs. My final collection was an extension of my high school project ‘life under the sea’. On a holiday, I became aware of the plastic waste in the ocean and its negative effects on corals. My collection explores the idea, that recycled plastic fabric can be used and re-purposed in everyday womenswear. The shapes and structure reflect the fluid life forms in the ocean.
 
 

 
What sets your collection apart is your background in technology and use of plastic, could you share your design process with us?

My background in technology has provided an understanding of garments fit, appropriate fabric selection and construction methods. I used my knowledge throughout the design process and assisted in the justification of my collection’s aesthetic. The design process consisted of plastic manipulation, stitched samples and draping on the stand. With the aid of a heat press and 3D mannequins, I was able to mould plastic around a figure to create interesting shapes. Given the nature of each plastic form, suitable design features were taken and collated into various line ups.

"The design process consisted of plastic manipulation, stitched samples and draping on the stand. With the aid of a heat press and 3D mannequins, I was able to mould plastic around a figure to create interesting shapes. Given the nature of each plastic form, suitable design features were taken and collated into various line ups."


Your collection heavily focuses on sustainability, and reducing plastic waste, how does this manifest itself in your final pieces?

All the material used are made from 100% recycled plastic. The material has been repurposed from ocean waste into a new techno-fabric named Econyl and rPET. PET is the most common type of plastic resin. It can be recycled, recreated and remoulded continually. This sustainable fabric demonstrates excellent recovery power and the perfect muscular compression, aimed at boosting a faster recovery of energy. As well as using this material, plastic bags have been recycled and incorporated into my designs as sleeves or panels.

What other plans and dreams do you have for the future?

My desire is to push the boundaries and question traditional concepts. To further enhance my creativity, I plan on travelling across Asia, which will reinforce my knowledge and allow me to gain inspiration across a multitude of cultures. This stimulation is essential to further my fashion career, as it will fuel innovation and provide me with a deeper understanding which in turn, will give me the courage to challenge pre-conceived ideas. It is exciting to know that I am part of an ever-evolving multifaceted industry.

"All the material used are made from 100% recycled plastic. The material has been repurposed from ocean waste into a new techno-fabric named Econyl and rPET."

Discover Holly Docherty's full collection




Words by Reka Dala
 
 
 
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