Natural Dye Design Challenge

  • 10/11/19

Summary of the redesign challenge object.

For my Natural Dye Design Chanllenge, I’m going to design a new brasilia drawstring backpack. I was inspired by the Parley talk in which the company designed new products based on recycled plastic from oceans and made them into new products. One of their major projects was working with Nike to make new snikers with recycled plastic. I went to their website and saw that mainly all of their backpacks were made out of polyester, in particular their brasilia drawstring backpack. As I learned in the documentary The True Cost, ‘garment landfill have increased steadily. An average american throws away 82 pounds of textile waste each year, up to 11 million tons of textile waste from the US alone and most of this waste is non-biodegradable meaning that it sits on landfill for 200 years or more while it releases harmful gases in the air.’ As I researched, polyester is non-biodegradable, in addition to that, ‘is a synthetic petroleum-based fibre, and is therefore made from a carbon-intensive non-renewable resource.’ My designed brasilia drawstring backpack will be made out of a recycled t-shirt, in this way it prevents damaging the environment by creating more polyester backpacks or throwing away clothes that contribute to landfill pollution. I found a video is Youtube that inspired me on how to create the drawstring backpack. In first place I am going to use a t-shirt that I no longer use, I probably will need to chose a white t-shirt or a shirt of a lighter color in order to make the natural dye stand out more. I will need to take some measurements to see how long of a string I need to make the drawstring.


Description of your “ideal” user. Include why and how this  user will benefit from your redesign.

My target audience are anyone from teenagers to adults. The drawstring backpack can be carried in the gym, in the school, to travel and etc, as it offers secure, easy-access storage for your gear. The drawstring backpack, with a drawcord closure helps keep your things secure and close to the body. Users will benefit as they are contributing to a more ethical, eco-friendly and sustainable environment. Apart from individual users, I would also focus on two types of companies at a bigger scale, ethnic brands and well-know brands.

In first place, I would market my product to ethnic fashion brands. I have seen that mainly all of the ethnic fashion brands have a focus on clothing, however, fashion is also accesories such as bags. As I learned in the documentary ‘The True Cost’ Fashion brands like People Tree, Alternative Apparel and Everlane are ethical and fair trade, they are aware of the impact of garments in society and the environment. I think that marketing my sustainble product for these kind of brands would be suitable as my accesory not only focuses on environmental impacts that making the backpack out of polyester would bring to the environment, it also involves the idea of recyling and reducing textile landfil.

On the other hands, I would market my product to well-known brands like Nike. This is inspired in the way Parlay worked with the brand to create ocean-plastic recycled materials to create skeakers.

Mood boards

Nike brasilia drawstring backpacks make out of polyester.

Source inspiration for my textile recycled brasilia drawstring backpack.


  • 10/18/19

Hypothesis of possible materials and plant dyes.

My drawstring backpack will be aimed for a very general audience and it’s purposes can vary. This said, as it is a sustainable drawstring backpack, I will collect plants with natural colors that connote a more sustainable item such as brown, green, yellow etc. Possible plants can be oranges, walnuts, onion etc.I will try cotton, linen and wool as they are natural biodegradable fabrics. How are these different types of fabric have different effects when dying them?

Collected materials, natural dye material and fabrics.

  1. Personal item to upcycle into final product.


  • Final Piece


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