Dutch Designers’ Modular “Refinity” Clothing Is Like Legos for Fashion


Here’s another eco-fashion innovation that is both puzzling and promising: “Fragmented” clothing that features customizable snap-on pieces, requires no sewing, and reduces textile waste. Leading this charge is Dutch design duo Fioen van Balgooi and Berber Soepboer, whose Refinity Square Dress and Star Skirt are based on a click/fold assembly system that allows you to wear the same garment in countless ways, alter its design on demand, as well as wash or replace the parts separately.

Van Balgooi and Soepboer created their Refinity collection as an experiment in applying cradle-to-cradle principles to clothing production, use, and disposal. Made from Cradle to Cradle-certified wool felt in a range of vibrant colors, the Refinity pieces are based on jigsaw-puzzle-like zero-waste patterns that are designed to use every last scrap of cloth.

To create an interlocking skirt or dress, the square- and star-shaped modules are pieced together via small slices in the wool, which eliminates the need for yarn. (The felt doesn’t fray, either.) The resulting mosaic-like clothing can be worn in a variety of dynamic ways, so you can get by with fewer clothes and yet never get bored.

Refinity was recently on display at the Beyond Green, Good Design symposium gallery at the World Fashion Centre in Amsterdam. Curated by Ingrid Horsselenberg and Annouk Post of I&A, the exhibit was further evidence that the Dutch are definitely the ones to watch when it comes to combining fashion-forward design and playful attitudes.