Sustainability and social awareness are at the core of Rosie Baird's design process. She has adopted a two-pronged approach to this- through seeking to use locally produced, sustainable materials and collaborating with local artisans; and through designing garments for longevity, with strong emotional durability, with the aim of reducing waste. She believes that in order to encourage true sustainability it is important to address the issue of over-consumption, and not just rely on processes that tackle waste after it has been generated by the fashion industry.
Analysing her own love of clothes and consumption habits, she realised how important it is to have a story. The garments that we love and treasure the most are those which have come into our life at special times or bought from specific places. Garments that have fun references to things that we’re interested and passionate about, and clothing that has carefully considered details that prove the designer cared about the clothes all add to this value.
She believes the root of damaging overconsumption comes from the lack of value, from both consumer and designer, in the clothes we wear and quality design. Is it possible to design value? To design emotional connection?
Rosie’s design aims to encourage longevity by creating a vessel that evokes a nostalgic or passionate response. The key areas that she is tapping into is patriotism (in particular Scottish patriotism) and reference to film and music (cultural art that often evokes group nostalgia). The collection clashes traditional Scottish dress with the tacky side of the Scottish tourist industry- referencing many Scottish stereotypes in a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek way. Her hope is that people will invest in key pieces that they will treasure for a long time, thus reducing consumption and combating the idea of clothes being disposable.
Rosie’s aim is to produce pieces that have a life of their own and give back to the wearer- useful pockets and inspiring details. Encouraging people to create an emotional connection with their clothing on a level that they value it beyond its physical existence.