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Davis College professor recognized for zero-waste design

Colleen Moretz

West Virginia University faculty member Colleen Moretz was recently recognized by the International Textile and Apparel Association for her zero-waste design, “Macchia Spiral Into Zero-Waste Times Two.” 

For the award-wining design, the assistant professor of fashion, dress and merchandising partnered with Sandi Keiser of Mount Mary University to create a bright, fuchsia-color dress utilizing a double spiral pattern and honeycomb dyeing technique.

“The traditional ‘cut and sew’ method of garment production creates fabric off-cuts, scraps that are left after garments have been cut, which yield approximately 15% fabric waste,” she explained. “A zero-waste pattern design addresses the issue by producing garments without fabric cut-offs.”

Experimenting with a spiral cutting pattern created by Sanah Sharma, a sustainable and ethical 

designer from India, Moretz created a double spiral pattern resembling a yin-yang which, after the cutting stage, left square edges attached to the bottom of each spiral.

Model wearing zero-waste dress design

For the dress, she incorporated two of those double spiral patterns to create a full garment with zero waste. 

“Research shows an increase in the production and consumption of fashion has resulted in an equally increased use of resources, particularly fabric,” Moretz said. “Every we step we take toward sustainability in this industry is an important one.”

As if that wasn’t challenging enough, Keiser opted to dye the fabric to size, effectively eliminating waste in dye usage.

The design was presented at the 2020 International Textile and Apparel Association Virtual Annual Conference.


CONTACT: Lindsay Willey 
Director of Marketing and Communications 
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design 

Photo Captions:
Top left: Colleen Moretz
Bottom Right: A model wears the fuchsia-colored dress created by Moretz utilizing a double spiral pattern that produced zero waste.