Ruth Donagher

Systems & Society


Recollections is a multidisciplinary project involving months of research, education, and handcraft. The project takes a chronological approach to ethical design, questioning how sustainable practice became commodified and what we- as artists and activists, can do to reclaim it.
Fashion existed long before capitalism; we must imagine what it could look like after.
Image: Early sketchbook pages.
Image: How does an understanding of the past lend us an opportunity to reshape the future?
Image: Workshop instructional booklet with original text and hand-drawn illustrations.
Video: I worked with a total of 76 students over the course of three months, bringing my research in historical zero-waste patternmaking and hand-sewing techniques to Parsons students in Y1 Sustainable Systems and Y3 Design studio.

My curriculum was designed to apply not just to fashion design students, but to challenge artists across disciplines to consider how retrospective knowledge- specifically pre-capitalist conceptions of production- could impact their own personal practice.
Image: Featuring Jasmin Prophete and Peshi Kendall
Photographed by Peter Demas


Ruth Donagher is an artist, designer, and strategist. They specialize in the ethics and economics of fashion design, with a focus including historical craft and zero-waste garments. They approach art and fashion from a place of problem solving and collective memory; inspired by imagery of the unearthly. 

Ruth’s artistic practice is deeply tied to their interest in collective action. Specific strengths include iterative sketching, fine art, digital flats, print design, and sustainable economic and business strategy.