Climate change, workers rights and pollution effects have been propelled into the boardroom, design studio and high street and as a result, over 20 major brands and 1200 smaller ones are selling organic fibre products and consumer spending on ‘ethical’ clothing has doubled in the last two years. The bottom line is that sustainability is boosting interest in a new type of fashion activity.
However, traditional views of sustainable fashion focus almost exclusively on choice and provenance of materials, but this is only part of the picture. A more complete, forward-looking and creative view of sustainable fashion embraces both these materials-based or technical innovations and social change. It champions a wealth of lower impact fibre types, fairer employment models, more efficient processing techniques, empowering community projects, restorative design concepts, new ways to consume and alternative visions of how to clothe ourselves.
It is only in innovating to develop a diverse range of solutions that the sector will begin to experience more sustainable change. While some of these solutions are already being practised on the high street – for example Marks & Spencer, Britain’s biggest clothing retailer, has mainstreamed Fairtrade label cotton and introduced lines of organic linen and wool – others look less to material origins and more to new models of social innovation and consumer behaviour. They usher in a new future for sustainable fashion and textiles where a material and a product is connected to a lifecycle and the community that makes it, where fabrics are created to involve the skill of the user and where garments are designed to address both the scale of conspicuous fashion consumption and its root causes.
In my new book Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys I attempt to provide an antidote to the patchy data, narrow definitions and preconceived ideas that have characterised popular understandings of what sustainability means for fashion and textiles. Instead my motivation was to define a broader, more pluralistic and sustainable future vision for fashion and textiles.
Many sustainability themes in fashion and textiles are complex and dynamic. In recent years my experience of them has formed into a more definite shape – a shape I felt would work well as a book that would capture sustainability’s complexity and the power and creativity of design. These themes help define sustainable fashion and textiles in a new way and help open up new creative opportunities for the sector.
The goal of sustainable fashion, and that of the designers, global brands and not-for-profits who are working to make it happen, is to make unsustainable fashion a thing of the past. It is an enormous task, with effects that stretch far beyond the traditional boundaries of fashion companies and touch on things as diverse as agriculture, laundering behaviour and patterns of consumption. It will only succeed if consumers, producers, retailers, designers, community groups and international corporations connect together and jointly recognize their influence in promoting change.
Dan Harding | alfa
Dune ecosystem modelling
23.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation
23.06.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
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13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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