Jessamy Shay Kilcollins

’19 Fashion Design

I’m interested in exploring the intersection of functionality, sustainability, and personal expression through material and design choices in the garments I make. This tailored jacket includes a zipper that allows the skirt to be removed, giving the wearer two silhouettes to choose from based on weather, occasion, or mood. These styling options eliminate the need to own multiple garments for different scenarios. The pieced design permits the use of smaller pieces of fabric, and lends itself to the utilization of manufacturer’s offcuts or upcycled fabrics. 

The global fashion industry’s calamitous effects on the environment cannot be overstated. It’s estimated that Americans purchase an average of 64 new garments each year. By considering a garment’s longevity and designing for multiple configurations, this devastating pace of consumption can be disrupted. Furthermore, use of fabrics otherwise destined for disposal diverts textiles from a ruinous waste stream: 85% of discarded textiles end up in a landfill or burned, according to the EPA. An estimated 17 million tons of textiles went to landfill in 2018.

Jessamy Shay Kilcollins is a textile artist and fashion designer whose work focuses on sustainability and handcraft processes. She holds a BFA in Fibers and a Certificate in Fashion Design from MassArt. In 2020, she participated in sustainable fashion design competition Project Upcycle, and was awarded second place for her gala look sewed from repurposed secondhand clothing. Jessamy teaches creative mending in the Boston area, and co-owns High Energy Vintage in Somerville with her partner.