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
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences