Sustainable apparel design is a discipline based on challenging the status quo. Applying an interdisciplinary approach, this paper integrates the methodologies of research through practice, sustainable design, and material culture to challenge contemporary products found on the fast fashion market. Exploring use-value as an avenue for sustainable design, a typology is developed addressing the identifiers of function, aesthetics, expression, and durability as a method for generating sustainable solutions. The interpretative methods of material culture are adapted into a use-value challenge as a process for establishing sustainable and unsustainable elements embedded within a product. The concept of best practices is introduced as a procedure for assessing the solutions for the creation of alternative prototypes. A case study, challenging children’s princess costumes found on the contemporary market, provides an example of how the use-value method for apparel design can be applied to fast fashion products.