“When I was much younger, I didn’t want to go into fashion because it seemed wasteful,” says award-winning fashion designer Bethany Williams. “But I love textiles and I love making and I love designing. You’ve got to be part of the problem to create a solution.” When it comes to Bethany’s design philosophy, social, ethical, and environmental issues go hand in hand, and innovative design can actually be a tool that poses real solutions to the sustainability issues our planet currently faces.
Since founding her brand in 2017, Bethany has worked closely with communities and charities to inform collections that are embedded with real stories. She’s the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for Fashion Innovation in 2019 and an LVMH Prize Finalist in 2019. Bethany continues to collaborate with social good organizations to address issues across the fashion industry and wider society from all angles, from agriculture to communication. Her collections act as mediums to share the unique perspectives and stories of her collaborators.
With this approach in mind, working with Augmented Atelier in collaboration with More or Less presented some exciting opportunities for Bethany. “I was just really excited about it because, the idea of being able to create garments that aren't creating waste could be so impactful,” she reveals.
Working with a digital process that eliminated multiple rounds of pattern-making and model fittings offered an interesting contrast to her studio process and way of working. “I thought it was so interesting to eliminate the fitting step. With this, you see the sketch, the digital patterns, and then immediately it appears on the body—which was a really amazing process that eliminated a lot of extra work for us.”
“I was just really excited about it because, the idea of being able to create garments that aren't creating waste could be so impactful,”
- Bethany Williams
Digital design can offer new solutions for efficiency across studio resources. “We usually do a sketch, develop a pattern, cut it out, and then render it with materials to fit onto a model—which we then alter back into the pattern to make samples,” she explains. Going digital changes the dynamics of this process and saved Bethany and her team time and energy.
Bethany has seen the way a digital collection could present new opportunities for fashion in the future “With what we do, people can only see the garments if they’ve come as a buyer to our showroom or if they’ve come to the show. This way, more people can access our designs and styles digitally.”
And she’s excited about the potential accessibility that digital collections could offer, opening doors to a broader and more diverse audience.
Fashion becomes more inclusive to everyone...It’s important to me to focus on philosophy and a mindset, not just on selling clothes.Bethany Williams