Lablatalk @ Kristen Nuttall

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Senior Designer Sustainability at adidas, Kristen Nuttall focuses specifically on holistic sustainability topics related to materials, processes and products from a creative and design perspective. Her design background and innovative way of thinking have been the driving force to find her niche to research and develop design-focused sustainable strategies to help educate designers.

Seeing that Kristen will be a speaker on Circular Fashion Summit Design Panel, we had a chat with Kristen about her journey to sustainable fashion and her interest to pair design thinking and sustainability. 

As Sustainability Designer in adidas, where did your journey with sustainable fashion begin?

My journey began with a design competition where I was asked to design a jacket out of manufacturing waste. It was at this point, I realized that I had a responsibility as a designer to make better products. 

What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

To me, sustainability is about mindset change. How can we look holistically at our materials, processes and the products we are creating and start making changes to reduce our impact?  

Adidas is embracing the circular economy and closed-loop design in its operations. What are the challenges to develop closed-loop products? 

The challenge in creating closed-loop products is it is not just the responsibility of one party. Meaning brands can create a closed-loop product but there needs to be an infrastructure in order for a product to be recycled or reused – and closed-loop also includes the consumer. It is about changing the way we design, produce, consume, maintain and dispose of products.

Which piece of advice you would give to young designers regarding the importance of integrating circular design models within their creations?

They have an opportunity to challenge the conventional and historic design process of creating a vision and then executing a design at the cost of our resources, environment and people. Now we understand what the impacts are and how to do things differently. It is an exciting time as brands and consumers are both looking for new alternatives.

Looking ahead, what will be next for fashion design?

Fashion design will move away from the linear model of vision to product. The help of digital platforms and technology will change the way we create and consume which will allow us to move away from single-use materials and products. We will start asking different questions; What mindset or behavior change will my product instil onto its user? And what will this product be next?  

Learn more about projects that Kristen is working on at adidas:

To hear more about Kristen’s experience in Design, join us on Circular Fashion Summit.

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