University of Delaware
Jo Kallal (on the right), professor of apparel design, poses with her design at the "Redefining, Redesigning Fashion" exhibition at the University of Minnesota.

Eco-friendly fashion

Fashion faculty, alumnae showcase sustainable designs in international exhibit


12:38 p.m., March 4, 2013--Faculty members and alumnae from the University of Delaware’s Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies created sustainable garments for the Redefining, Redesigning Fashion exhibition on display in the Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota.

Jo Kallal, professor, and former department faculty members and alumnae Rosetta LaFleur, Colleen Moretz and Dani Wagner created five of just 46 designs included in the international exhibition. 

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The exhibition, which runs to May 26, features designs that have been created with environmental, economic and social concerns in mind.

Moretz, a UD Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies graduate and former instructor, and Kallal also received Dean’s Theme awards for their designs. Both were invited to attend a public lecture at the University of Minnesota to be presented with their awards.

Moretz was honored for creating a Victorian-style wedding gown with removable layers to create two different looks for the ceremony and the reception. 


“Today’s bride has started a trend of purchasing two wedding dresses,” said Moretz. “A wedding gown is typically only worn the day of the wedding and to purchase two gowns for that one day is far from being sustainable.”

Kallal received an award for alternative construction and techniques by creating a garment with zero fabric waste.  She used just four different pattern shapes and a process called needle felting, instead of traditional stitching, to assemble her two-piece look using very little thread.

“Most zero waste designs are loose-fitting,” said Kallal,  “So I was surprised that my design process led to a more traditional fit and appearance.”

Moretz now teaches at Immaculata University and credits Kallal with inspiring her when she was a design student at UD. 

“Jo was the person who inspired me to pursue fashion design as a career,” she said. “I also had the pleasure of teaching fashion design at UD and hopefully was able to inspire my students as well.”

UD’s impressive representation in the exhibition serves as an indication of the department’s commitment to responsible fashion. 

“The Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies places strong emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility, so we are always happy to be recognized for our leadership,” said Marsha Dickson, department chair.

About the exhibition

The Redefining, Redesigning Fashion competitive exhibition invites designers, students, and design professionals to submit design proposals. The exhibition explores how apparel can be environmentally, socially and economically conscious while simultaneously serving as an individual form of creative expression. 

Article by Kelley Bregenzer

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