Waste to Wealth:
Methods of Contextual Research

In this Lextant Certificate Program called Methods of Contextual Research at SCAD, we learned principles and techniques to conduct future-focused research that is actionable across all functions of an organization.

A team of 5 individuals across different disciplines, we wanted to take this opportunity to explore Clothes made out of Agricultural/Food Waste, a new dimension of diverse sustainable alternate materials which reduce the impact of the fashion industry. Our goal was to understand the mindsets of consumers and the barriers that prevent them from widely adopting these materials.

This project was created as an entry for the BioDesign Challenge.

Ethnography, Qualitative Research, Contextual Inquiry,
Human-Centred Design, Visual Design

Mentor: Kwela Hermanns︎︎︎ (Associate Chair of Industrial Design and Design for Sustainability at Savannah College of Art and Design)

Program under Lextant Certification︎︎︎ and in collaboration with BioDesign Challenge︎︎︎

Year of Completion: 2022

Aditi Balapure
Brian Zee
Disha Goyal
Neha Reddy Alle
Tanya Kar


According to U.N. Environment, the global fashion industry is responsible for

We found it significantly necessary to adopt environment-friendly fabrics and found our passion in Materials made out of Agricultural or Food Waste.

The 5 stages of Contextual Research:

1. Relevance and Value
2. Methods and Techniques
3. Analysis
4. Framework
5. Storytelling

Methods of Data Collection that we tried:

1. Screener Survey
2. In-depth Interviews
3. Sensory Cue Workshop
4. Survey
5. Cultural Probe


We conducted 25 User
and Expert Interviews

See some of the snippets below

Cultural Probe at Forsyth Park (Savannah, GA)

We asked our participants to write a
‘Love or a Break-up Letter’ to Fast Fashion, which received the maximum attraction and generated creative heart-based responses!

We conducted a Sensory Cue Workshop to understand user’s ideal experience of Perceiving, Deciding, Selecting, Buying and Wearing Clothes made out of Agricultural / Food Waste. The theme of this workshop was that of a Virtual Store!

Our framework for

“The Ideal Experience of wearing Clothes made out of Agricultural or Food Waste”

The Framework insights were then visually translated into a Client Magazine. This is our Bible and has all our findings and insights, presented in a digestible format. A common quote from people was that they want Clothes made out of Agricultural/Food waste to be fun, attractive and stylish and we wanted to translate that emotion through the visual language of the magazine.

Behind the Scenes

︎︎︎ P R E V I O U S