Tissuni, which is a French portmanteau for “united fabric”, is a collective of seamstresses from elite fashion houses like Chanel, Dior, and Saint Laurent that is committed to reducing fashion’s waste problem. Founded in March by Chanel seamstress Marie Beatrice Boyer, the movement began by supplying over 3,000 free face masks to essential workers in France. Now, Tissuni is experimenting with open-source design patterns.
Boyer was inspired to launch Tissuni in the early days of lockdown in response to global shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). French hospitals were in desperate need of cloth face coverings in an attempt to preserve critically low supplies of surgical face masks. Since launching Tissuni, the collective has expanded to over 100 members from respected couturiers — including Jean Paul Gautier, Schiaparelli, and the Paris Opera. Boyer aimed to do a good deed by offering high-quality cloth face coverings to essential workers for free. Now that face masks have become so commercialized — in excess of $100 for a high fashion cloth face covering — Tissuni finds it extremely disappointing.
“What offends us is to see luxury brands selling fabric masks for more than $100, and to advertise them,” she told the New York Times. Despite fashion’s talent of transforming anything into an overpriced commodity, Tissuni will continue to push for more collaborative, and sustainable practices within the fashion industry by offering its first open-source design pattern — a summer dress called “La Petite Robe Verte”, or “The Little Green Dress”, as a nod to reducing fashion’s textile waste problem. “A little dress for a big impact. From the sketch to the package, from technique to aesthetics, from production to communication, we have eco-designed a dress as green as possible,” Tissuni writes on its website. The dress is designed from pieces that fit together, which means that there is no scrap fabric, or textile waste from the finished product. It’s also made from organic linen from the north of France that doesn’t require any more than rain water to be naturally grown. Although La Petite Robe Verte sold out within moments of being released, Tissuni will soon be adding more dressing patterns to its website — keep checking back for updates.