A successful duo: fashion designer Lea Lahr-Thiele and the SP2000

Young fashion designer Lea Lahr-Thiele relies on the SP2000 for the creation of her sustainable fashion collections. The large-format laser provides her with the opportunity to process a large number of materials and to discover the unique character of each material through engraving and cutting.


Creation of sustainable fashion with the Trotec SP2000


Hamburg, Germany

Laser machine


About Lea Lahr-Thiele

Lea Lahr-Thiele, a fashion design student from Hamburg, chose to focus on sustainable and resource-saving haute-couture design in her bachelor thesis. With over 10 years of experience as a seamstress and patternmaker, she explored the collection process in detail. Recognizing the potential of laser technology to support her ideas, Lea reached out to Trotec Laser in Marchtrenk, Austria, to investigate resource-efficient textile design. In the summer of 2022, Lea used laser processing in the Trotec Application Lab to explore the potential for create an eco-friendly collection for her bachelor thesis, combining high fashion and sustainability.

SP2000 Laser: A game-changer for Lea’s sustainable fashion research.

Trotec recommended the SP2000 laser for her ambitious project. This large-format laser with 400 watts power provided her with the flexibility to work with various materials such as silk and recycled polyester, including delicate textiles that could laser processed quickly. Additionally, the ability to combine cutting and engraving in a single pass offered Lea a wide range design possibilities and creative freedom in prototyping.

The precision and neatness of laser cutting were further reasons for Lea to use a laser for the development of her collection. When working with very detailed shapes, only a laser allowed her to achieve accurate and clean results. She was now able to create a 3D effect by experimenting with the physical properties of materials or cutting shapes into the material without fully removing them.

Lea also appreciated the precise and seamless cut edges achieved with the laser, which gave her cut parts a polished appearance. In addition, she explored the diverse and inspiring possibilities of laser engraving for optical material manipulation, allowing her to truly discover the unique character of each material.

During her research in the Trotec Application Lab, she developed a method called Counterform-Design, which is inspired by zero waste practices. With this method Lea generates compositions from surplus and offcut forms. The use of deadstock materials facilitates valuable upcycling of resources. This process not only enables her to preserve and enhance resources but also allows her to create exclusive fashion pieces with new looks and eye-catching effects with mesmerizing interplays of light and form.

"Every material brings different unique physical properties. I love discovering the character of a material through laser processing. Special panel and piece solutions offer a resource-saving alternative to conventional yard goods.”

Lea Lahr-Thiele

Lea’s award-winning collection showcases the laser cutter’s potential in fashion design.

For her research, Lea created seven complete outfits with the SP2000. This zero waste-couture collection is called “Potential of Two” and combines highly innovative techniques and traditional handcraft. In February 2023 it was awarded best collection at the graduate show in Hamburg. It has also been nominated for the Green Product Award which recognizes sustainable and innovative products and services across 14 categories, including fashion.

Lea’s research further illustrates that the large-format laser cutter is an ideal match for fashion design. Incorporating her valuable feedback, the next version of the SP2000 laser will show further improvements. Lea’s graduate collection is just the start of her exploration into resource-conserving design methods in fashion.

"I would really like to thank Trotec for the great opportunity and support. The experience of collaborating with industry experts, creating, sharing, and exchanging ideas has been truly enriching. Without the entire Trotec team this extraordinary collection wouldn’t have been possible."

Lea Lahr-Thiele

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