Recycled Knitwear Becomes High Style

For most of her two-plus decades teaching Fashion Design at FIT, Associate Professor Lisa Donofrio ’86 has led a knitwear class in which students assemble sweaters and dresses from thrift-store castoffs. This isn’t just recycling, it’s upcycling: crafting a desirable product out of something essentially worthless. As consumers become aware of the environmental toll of our fast-fashion culture, sustainable thinking will become an essential skill for designers.

In fall 2016, Donofrio’s upcycling projects were the focus of Introduction to Knitwear Design, a mandatory course for all Fashion Design BFA students.

Each class chooses a theme, and every student creates an inspiration board and either two sweaters, a skirt and top, or a dress. In Donofrio’s two sections, the themes were “deep-sea creatures” and “Dada.” Check out some of the coolest designs.

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