‘Growing Clothes’ For A More Sustainable Future With London-based Ryan Yasin. The James Dyson award operates in 23 countries and is open to university level students and recent graduates studying product design, industrial design and engineering. It recognises and rewards imaginative design solutions to global problems with the environment in mind.
London-based designer Ryan Yasin won the James Dyson award by using his background in aeronautical engineering to develop a line of sustainable apparel called ‘Petit Pli’, designed to fit babies through to toddlers.
The origami-inspired range of children’s clothing is made from durable pleated fabric that expands to fit growing babies and toddlers. Ryan Yasin’s idea has been welcomed by the industry and has won him the prestigious James Dyson award.
Ryan Yasin created the material using scientific principles he studied for his aeronautical engineering degree, after noting the lack of sustainability in the clothing industry and being frustrated by how quickly his baby niece and nephew outgrew garments he bought for them.
The London-based postgraduate student aims to make the so-called ‘Petit Pli’ “the most advanced kids’ clothing in the world”. Made from waterproof pleated lightweight fabric which is machine washable and recyclable, all garments are designed to fit the three-month to three-year age group.
Most children grow by seven sizes in their first two years, and parents spend an average of £2,000 on clothing before their child reaches the age of three. As well as the high cost and limited lifespan, mass production of garments places huge pressure on the environment through waste, water consumption and carbon emissions.
Yasin set out to combine technology with textiles in order to reach durable and practical garments for youngsters, to take them through their initial “growth spurt”. The babygrow, trousers and tops, he has so far created, resemble junior versions of sought-after clothing by legendary Japanese designer Issey Miyake.
‘Petit Pli’ works by employing the traditional negative Poisson’s ratio, which Yasin studied while at London’s Imperial College. When stretched, materials that have this ratio – known as auxetics – become thicker and can expand in two directions at the same time. The phenomenon is already used in stents and biomedical implants.
Yasin has to date developed more than 500 prototypes for Petit Pli and plans to use his £2,000 prize money to continue discussions with potential investors and expand the business. Yasin says he is in talks with a major UK retailer and hopes the first clothing will go on sale in the UK within months.
“It’s just great to have that backing and recognition of my solution,” he said. “The prize money is an added bonus, but I know how I will use it. In addition to supporting my R&D, it will help me form an interdisciplinary team of experts to take Petit Pli to the next level: putting it in the hands of parents worldwide and making a tangible difference to the way we consume resources in the fashion industry.”
Yasin has captured auxetic properties in Petit Pli through the use of permanent pleating. The pleats move in both directions, either folding together or expanding, and allowing the garment to move with the child.
Yasin says he will aim to keep the garments at a competitive price while ensuring everyone along the supply chain is paid ethically. His invention will now be entered into the international running for the final leg of the James Dyson Award which will give the overall worldwide winner a further £30,000 in prize money.
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