The Chasing Zero Project

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The Chasing Zero Project is a collaborative, innovative fashion project exploring the possibilities of Zero Waste through fashion design. The Chasing Zero Project enables the Nelson Molloy studio to become circular with the offcuts from recent collections, donated or second-hand clothing, giving waste a new life and become new garments. Each piece is thoroughly thought out, and natural dyeing, reverse dyeing, patching and slow stitching techniques are used to elevate each timeless design.

Now more than ever, our community is such an important part of society. Being a part of a project that not only supports its community but also endorses environmental fashion change is incredibly valuable in today's climate. 

Chasing Zero may focus on being zero waste, ethical and sustainable, but we pride ourselves on how beautiful the community of interesting and innovative people we have around us is. Our pieces are known for being creative and innovative, yet fun, playful and easy to wear for all ages, sizes and genders. 

The Zero Waste concept can feel complicated to achieve and requires thought, planning, and even formulas to make happen in the studio. To diminish waste in clothing design and manufacturing requires just as much planning and formulaic thinking, not to mention a lot of creativity and questioning involved. We're going to walk you through the process of creating a Chasing Zero garment step by step. 


The first initial step is to sort offcuts, unpurchased NM pieces, donated and second-hand clothing into piles. We tend to sort the piles differently each time depending on what our focus is for the season which could be; colour, fabric, season or fit. For our up and coming Chasing Zero collection, which will be showcased at Vacant Assembly from October 9th (check out more info via the button below) our main sorting focus was to use offcuts from our previous collection. So you will see beautiful linens, cotton, lyocell and touches of denim in this coming Chasing Zero collection.


Now, this is the fun part... Brainstorming and designing a Chasing Zero garment is no walk in the park. These pieces require a lot of thought, planning and formulas to successfully create a beautiful piece. Because of the use of offcuts, old NM pieces and donated clothing, it is not as simple as designing a garment from scratch, we almost have to redesign 4 or 5 different pieces to create 1 magnificent piece. We like to plan whether we'll be dyeing pieces, stitching patches, where our slow stitching will be placed and what colour it will be and much more.



This step feels pretty self-explanatory, yet there is much more that goes into this process than what would be expected. The cutting requires equations to get the right-sized shapes for each piece, and the dyeing process takes days to achieve the perfect colours.



Once the piece has been sorted, designed, cut and naturally dyed the construction process begins. This is typically done on a mannequin or one of our large studio tables, where all of the pieces of the garment are pieced together like a wearable puzzle. This process is important because it not only reveals how the garment will look once created, but it is where we have one last chance to change aspects of the garment before it is sewn together. 



When we are completely happy with our intentional design, the piece will hit the sewing machines. We have a lovely bunch of women who are dedicated to producing high-quality, attention to detail garments for the Nelson Molloy and Chasing Zero community. If there is ever any issues with your purchased piece (which is rare), we will happily take it back to mend it or fit it properly for you, as we want our community to love our pieces as much has we do.



And lastly, but certainly not least is our slow stitching process. This is essential to every Chasing Zero garment as it is our signature finishing touch. We will hand stitch little details through each piece, or add a beautiful stitched design to each work of art to add an element of care and consideration. 



There you have it, a beautifully, thoughtfully, intentionally designed piece, made from natural, scrap fabric or second-hand clothing, ready to be worn for life.
We hope you loved learning the ins and outs of intentional design, and we hope to see you at our pop up to join our community of wonderful, inventive and like minded people.