Mesh is a sustainable fashion startup based on a wearable modular system founded in March 2019, San Francisco.
The one-woman show, Founder, Designer, and constantly running between FedEx and Ups!
Raised and crowdfunded $12K fundings on Kickstarter & $10K from ID sustainability competition.
What is Mesh?
Think Legos but for Fashion
Mesh is a versatile, modular piece of fabric that can be configured into any form of clothing your wardrobe needs. It can be built upon itself in multiple directions, only limited by your imagination. Mesh isn’t a one time purchase, it’s a tool to empower your style, a link to a community of creators and a way to always be in style.
Food for thought
How much of your closet do you actually wear? Does being fashionable feel more like a game of catch up than truly expressing yourself? We all have that growing pile of clothing in the back of our closets that simply don’t match what’s trending, what’s relevant, or what our current style is. I want to reframe the buying behaviors in the fashion industry and make people conscious of the value of clothes.
The fast-fashion industry is about getting clothes from the factory to online stores or retail floors as quickly as possible, the process is often unethical and unsustainable. We are the reason why these fast-fashion businesses exist. They created a system that persuades compulsive shopping and they know how to do it well.
We only have 2 homes our entire lives: the earth and our bodies. So let’s take care of them.
The Design Process
After rounds of exploration of different geometric modular shapes. The eyelet modules are the most self intuitive and easiest to assemble. These modular components loop together to turn ideas into inventions, transforming the way people obtain apparel and accessories pieces.
Early Concept sketches
Exploration of felt
While fabric sourcing, we make sure that our materials are not composed of wool or any other animal materials. We love our furry friends are proud to be 100% animal cruelty-free.
Felt is a highly resilient material that retains its strength. After rounds of fabric sourcing, felt maintains its physical properties as it wears and does not ravel or fray over time.
Vegan leather is later introduced to our collection in 2020.
How it works
I came up with a system of building blocks that will turn your ideas into inventions. Every mesh works with every other mesh - it loops inside one another. I designed the modules this way so that it can be disassembled and grow with the change in fashion trends.
Because Mesh required specific machines and tools to develop, I struggled with development after graduation. I was relying heavily on my school's lab resources and only current students are allowed in those labs. I then turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund some $ for prototype making and product validation. It was a bumpy road with a couple of hiccups along the way but I managed to win the internet's hearts. You know who you are ;) If you are reading this, thank you so much for backing my project!
Designing a modular system
I designed a complete library of Mesh units with all the pieces users need to unleash creativity, design thinking, hands-on learning, and engineering experimentation.
I tested the prototype with a number of people. They love the concept, but often claimed themselves as "I'm not creative enough to build this." In the hope to unblock and unleash people's innovative brains, I came up with an idea to solve this: an Ikea-inspired manual to help people get started and a hands-on workshop.
How might we help people overcome their "I'm not creative" mental block?
I set out a simple purse usability task for users
Infographic Ikea-like manual
I teamed up with a talented friend of mine to come up with the most intuitive manual to provide people with a basic framework and simple silhouettes.
In the wild
Mesh in action
I hosted a hands-on workshop at Wonderfruit (a sustainable music and arts festival) to help people revive, be present, and reconnect with their creative soul. The workshop ranged from building a water bottle strap, cross-body bag, and educating people on sustainable fashion.
Space and service design
Workshop area set up
A snippet from the workshop guests
Boston center for the arts
A day of wardrobe awareness event
On an environmental and societal scale
With your help, we can reduce the amount of clothes that end up in the landfill each year.
The power to influence the outcome of a product automatically creates personal attachment. The final invention reflects the customer’s taste, style, and personality. This evokes emotional attachment that leads to the feeling of ownership and achievement. As a result, you tend to keep the product longer. A long product lifespan will eventually slow down fast-fashion and reframe mass buying behaviors.
Regularly creating something with your own two hands will engage your creative flares in all areas of your life. Think about the last time you made something by hand. Was it baking something for your loved ones? Mailing a postcard to your parents? The outcome was fulfilling and absorbing right?
Building Mesh may or may not decrease stress and anxiety but it will foster pride and satisfaction. When we are lost in a deeply absorbing task, our worries get flushed away. A creative task can serve as an organic antidepressant.
A love letter from me
I look forward to building a Mesh community and digital platform where users can share their innovations with the like-minded community where people celebrate collaboration, curiosity, and a love for the environment.
For me, this project hits close to home. After working in the fashion industry, I found out that it was constructed on secrecy. Their process and story are opaque. I spent months fleshing out this concept.
I owe it all to my family, friends, and colleagues for supporting me no matter what I do. All backers for being part of this journey and believing in Mesh. Oliver for pushing me to crowdfund and supporting me along this journey. The photography & videography team in San Francisco, New York, and Bangkok. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!