Archive | July, 2011

Attention to detail

25 Jul

Red Fretex Redesign Tunic

It sure is fun and very educative to see all the work that goes into a single redesign product especially in a big company like Fretex. When I was doing work in my small-scale fashion business back home(Uganda), I was working alone so, my system of doing things was obviously less complex than the way things are done in a large company like Fretex. For example, I didn’t have to meet with a production team to go over every single detail of just one garment before I produced it or do a lot of detailed market research. I was dealing with clients one on one, who already knew what they wanted. That took a lot off production time because then I only had to come up with some fashion design ideas from which one would be chosen by the client or sometimes by me . All the other production details were then mine to decide. Things like what type of thread to use, what type of lining to use or if lining was necessary, what type of zipper and small details like that. These  were left for me to decide based on my garment construction experience. No meeting ever happened concerning what details to use, why those details or how those details would be achieved. This sometimes allowed me to make several garments in less than a month.

I have realised that it takes much longer to finally produce and sale a product in a big company and a lot of thinking ahead has to be done. One obvious reason is of course that it is serial production. Every single detail has to be analysed too and this automatically lengthens production time. Before even going into small details the bigger picture has to be looked at and that is ,”What do clients want?,” this leads to a lot of market research. So while my clients came to me with what they wanted and were trend aware most times, Fretex redesign has to go to the market and find out what the trends are in terms of whatever they might produce. What Fretex has to Its constant advantage is that anything labeled eco-friendly is trendy(That trend is not going anywhere any time soon) so Fretex redesign in my opinion is trendy in its self 🙂 .

So any way, I am now working on a project where I will redesigned men’s shirts into women’s dresses. At the beginning of the project, I thought that it would take a few months, 2 to 3 or maybe a maximum  of 4 for the Dress to be designed, produced and put into the market for sale. Boy,was I wrong!  I was soon to learn that that’s not how big companies do their thing. With all the “detail” that goes into a single product, the process from start to finish can even take one whole year! Shocking but very helpful lesson for me. Whats more, Fretex Redesign as a company has Sustainability as one of its main goals so, a lot of effort has to be put into making sure every product has this goal attached to it. As I design the dresses, I am doing things I had not done before like making various prototypes and critically analysing every single detail, making sure to record my findings, filling out a product history file…. things like that. A lot of fun is involved too though, I get to go to Fashion boutiques to do trend searches and look at beautiful designs by the likes of D&G or Michael Kors.

I also remember how interesting it was to sit in the sorting department  at Fretex. On this particular day I was doing  research to find out how many shirts I would be able to collect over  given amount of time, in this case, one and a half days. This  was required as shirt collection time affectes  shirt production time(Details details details…..). Any way, besides the fact that I was able to find some good shirt brands,(Calvin Klein included.WOW!) I could see all the types of clothing Items people give to fretex; the REALLY  cool, the good and the…. ‘very interesting items’ 

A designer label for my dress project!

As I mentioned, Fretex is really trendy because of all the good it does, That said, some people are willing to give top quality clothing items as long as it is for a good cause and even though they are second-hand, whatever amount of money that is generated from them goes to charity.

Brand new shirts, Good find.

Sometimes, people give brand new items like these shirts I found. Better to give it to a good cause than throw it away.

Very intresting project this is for me so read on as it unfolds……


Paper couture.

18 Jul

This image cant get out of my mind and that is with good reason. I have seen many  dresses that are made from recycled paper but every time I think of couture in relation to paper recycle, this image flashes in my mind. So, I hope every time the word paper recycle is mentioned this image flashes in your mind 🙂

For her creative processes class Jolios Paons designed this paper dress from only phone book paper

If that got your attention you have just got to see   what designers can do with bathroom tissue (not used!). Any way, follow this link to see what I mean. The cashmere collections may not be aimed at  recycle but the promotion was for a good cause.
An Anastasia Lomonova Design


The ultimate Norwegian experience !!!

12 Jul

Preikestolen/ The Pulpit rock

I finally made it to the famous Preikestolen/ Pulpit rock! I had no clue about this Mountain formation until I came to Norway.  Many people I met then started to recommend it as one of the sights one must see when in Norway. The pictures I saw of the place(below) on the internet were so cool that I made a promise to myself to visit.

Preikestolen from above

The opportunity presented its self sooner than I had expected when my Guatemalan friend told me she was coming to Stavanger and planned to go there with her Norwegian  friend, Ingvild. I was so happy I had really been looking forward to going there but it wouldn’t have been the same without  friends. The more, the merrier. So, last weekend (09/07/2011), Ingvild, Vale And I set off for our climb. The weather was not the best because it was raining but that was not going to stop us.

Ingvild(Left) and Valeria(right) On the ferry, first part of the journey.

We set off from Stavanger by ferry to a place called Tau. We took a bus from there to the Preikestolen lodge were the track starts. It is so funny but after just 10 minutes at the beginning of the climb, I was panting for breath ( I am clearly very unfit!) and to make this worse it started to rain. I remember seriously contemplating going back but I pushed on, plus I did not want to look bad because Valeria had been warning me to train/workout for this trip and I had not :).

1.5km up, a quarter of the journey

Looking back, I am very sure that the Man in the background was  thinking ,”Ha haaa…. If only they knew what climb they have ahead they would stop smiling, taking pictures and get on with it.”…. Ok, maybe he did not think that, but I remember feeling sorry for people who were going up on our way back down the mountain.

Smile even when you're hurting..

At this point(in the picture above) my only consolation was that we were more than half way the climb, we were in the middle of the steepest and most rocky part of the climb and the smile  was a bit forced. I felt like there were invisible 30kg weights tied to my legs. So, we finally got to the top of the steepest part and made the mistake of asking someone on their way down how much further we had to go only to be told that we had more than half of the journey ahead. It was hard to smile after that but the spectacular views from there on did it for me. It was very rewarding because even before actually getting to the pulpit rock,  the nature was like I had not seen before (honest).

We finally made it, half way  the climb, to the little lake were people go swimming when its sunny and were shocked to find three (if I remember correctly) Norwegian teenagers selling waffles and coffee! in the rain!

Despite the rain we moved on with the encouraging knowledge that we were half way. We came to this point(picture below) were we, sadly, read a memorial to a Young man who fell to his death there so it is actually dangerous and a lot of care should be taken while doing the climb. Its crazy but am shocked that Valeria was able to stand so casually at the edge of the wooden rail. I think you get too worked up when going up that you even forget to get  scared.

spectacular view

We finally Made it to the spot, the famous Preikestolen. As our lack would have it though, the rain got heavier and it got really windy. I had to brace myself to get a good snap shot.

We made it to the top!

Flirting with nature

I had my few minutes on the Pulpit rock and got overwhelmed by the hight. Though the rock is really big, it was as though I was just hanging in mid-air and seeing that  it was really windy, felt like I would be blown off the rock. Vale and Ingvild had their fill of fun though close to the edge. Just to paint the picture, the pulpit protrudes  30m from the side of the mountain and its cliff is 600m deep 😮 .I sure wasn’t staying any were near that for long.

After we had our fill of the view, we started our journey down. It is easy to think that the journey up is the hard part but many will agree with me that going down is the harder part. Our legs were shaky/ wobbly and while I had felt like  mine had extra weight on the way up, I felt like the joints at the knees had turned to jelly and could not support me on the way down. The sky decided to bless us with a heavier down pour just about 5minuts to the end of the track. I was too tired and wet to even care so I took my time and didn’t run for shelter like Ingvild and Valeria did(still not sure where they got the strength to run those last few meters).

The rain got to Vale's phone, Ofta!

Extremely tired but happy

The walk back home  after the bus and the ferry to Stavanger was really painful but all in all (with all the complaining) It was worth it and I am glad that I had two friends to share the experience with. Its one of those very hard to do experiences which you can keep doing because you forget the hard part with the rewarding view and beautiful nature. (ALMOST, and I stress the ‘almost’, like giving birth 🙂 )

Shading light on enviromental conservation

7 Jul

These lamps literally do that, they are shaded in environmentally friendly materials which you really can’t recognize at  first glance. Whats more is they are not made using those environmentally friendly materials that scientists spend sleepless nights in labs trying to develop. They are made from items that we use and trash on a daily basis. No rocket science here, just the creative minds of  ordinary people. I like these product too because they look like one of those things u can do yourself at home if you have a few or many hours to kill.

"Ella" Plastic Bottle Chandelier by Sarah Turner

When I saw these lamps I was reminded of my attempt last year, at trying to collect coca-cola bottles in the name of recycle. The plan was to do something with them. Sad thing is I had to throw them away when I left Uganda for Norway. Well, Plastic bottle collection is back on track for me, I could make a mini version of one of the lampshades.(so inspired right  now!) and even if I don’t make it a lamp shade, it could be a decoration or… anything.


So I now have conflicting plans, Plan A to collect all the Plastic bottles I use and trade them in for money (cool thing I like about Norway) or Plan B have fun with a ‘do it myself project’.  Both are good plans because they are both ways of recycling, plan A is good because am not sure I have time for plan B plus I get some cash for trash but plan B is so inspirational and exciting, wonder what I will settle for. Wish I could eat my cake and have it. What I am sure about though is I have a sure project for when I go back to Uganda. Cant wait! A lot of planning to do. If I can’t eat my cake and have it in Norway, I will just have to settle fo another cake, in Uganda.

At the moment I fill like am going to burst with inspiration so,I have to share this. You have just have to follow this link! Hope you like.

Cassette Tape Lamps

3 Jul

Vanesa Moreno Serna  of ooomydesign

Her creations are a unique way to save cassettes and the environment by creating a range of products that give cassettes new life and new meaning.

floor lamp

This is more than just redesign, It takes you back to the good old days. I was actually reminded about a box full of cassettes that I have stashed away back home when I saw these. It’s probably just gathering dust.I should put it to good use and this is the perfect inspiration I need. I have always wondered if one can truly bring themselves to throwing away cassettes. They bring back so many memories and the recordings in my opinion are treasures not to be trashed. I know its possible to transfer stuff to a DVD but not every one has the time or patience. This is a very innovative solution. This goes to show that every one has enough resources around them to create something usable, you just have to get creative. There are too many websites out there that can inspire ideas, there is no excuse. This link is a start so enjoy and get inspired!