New book ‘Opening Up the Wardrobe’ just out! Join us for a fortnight of activities!

A new book, a veritable smorgasbord of research methods examining what happens to clothes after they have been bought, is fresh off the press! It is available to buy direct from the publisher Novus.

Comprising 50 methods created by 50 authors from four continents, this volume brings together for the first time different tools and approaches for enquiring into the ‘lifeworld’ of garments and the associated relationships.

Edited by myself and Ingun Grimstad Klepp, we see Opening Up the Wardrobe as a radical book, giving attention to the real world of clothing actions and a counter narrative to the dominant view of fashion and clothing where fashion is an economic process, clothing a commodity and the prevailing definition of fashion describes a narrow view of who and what is valuable.

We mark the publication of the book with a fortnight of events taking place around the world, including:

13th September 2017, 15:00-17:00 in Oslo, Ingun and I will be together and there will be live demonstrations of some of the methods. More details here.

14th September, 16:00 – 17:00 in Copenhagen. Book launch at the University of Copenhagen, South Campus (KUA3) room 4A.0.68. (This is at the end of an open seminar on Uniforms in Practice)

And on 20th September 2017, 16:00-20:30 in London as part of London Design Festival, methods will be demonstrated as part of the Laundry Pile event (organised by three contributors to the book: Emma Rigby, Lizzie Harrison and Jade Whitson-Smith) and at which I will be speaking. The event is free, but places are limited.

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Laundry Pile, 20 September 2017

Love it or hate it, laundry is part of everyday life. Join us to rifle through the Laundry Pile on 20th September in a London launderette (where else?!) for an exhibition and panel discussion about laundry and its many implications.

The show will include some of the ‘Never Washed’ images and stories from the Local Wisdom project and if you feel like your threads need sprucing up, why not avail yourself of the in situ grooming service with tools gathered for Craft of Use? I’ll also be talking at the panel discussion.

The whole event is free, but places for the panel discussion are limited. Sign up now

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Call for papers on Fashion Localism

Call for papers for special issue on Fashion Localism in Fashion Practice: The Journal of Design, Creative Process & the Fashion Industry

Localism is a growing movement of place, community and nature. This special issue seeks to explore localism in the context of fashion, investigating the dynamic interconnections between specific places, people, ecological contexts, economies and the provision and expression of fashion clothes.

In localism, place matters. Local ecosystems provide both resources and constraints to an area’s activity. People and communities evolve within unique natural and social assets of where they are based. Ecosystem health is preserved through the local adaptation of knowledge, products, cultures and practices. This special issue contends that in fashion, place also matters. It explores fashion localism as a cornerstone principle and practice of sustainability where place-based and community values describe a fashion system reconceptualised by scale, stewardship and sufficiency.

The special issue will examine fashion localism from multiple perspectives.  We welcome contributions that investigate (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • Local or regional activity as part of self-reliant fashion communities;
  • The relationship between ecosystems, soil, watersheds (etc) and fashion production;
  • Explicit normative framework of localism in fashion;
  • Analytical paradigm of localism in the context of clothing and dress;
  • An exploration of the social nature of localism;
  • The role of consumption, consumers and non-market actors in localism in the fashion context;
  • The role of diversity, scale and resilience within fashion systems.
  • The role of legislation and marketing in leveraging a change from globalized to localized fashion systems.

Submission Instructions

Papers of between 6,000 and 8,000 words should be sent by the deadline: 1st June 2017 to the guest co-editors, earlier where possible. The guest editors invite would-be contributors to contact them to discuss potential submissions well in advance of the deadline and also welcome proposals about submissions in other formats.

Authors are advised to consult the Taylor and Francis website for author instructions and style guidelines. 

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Kate FletcherCentre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London
  • Guest Editor: Ingun Grimstad KleppConsumption Research Norway (SIFO)

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Conference in and with nature

Dartmoor, UK, 5-7 July 2017: a nature-immersed exploration of fashion sustainability with myself and Liz Parker.

Log off your email, shut down your laptop, and join us for a conference in and with nature to inquire into sustainability in fashion in a different way.

This conference in and with nature is an immersive enquiry into the natural world and questions and visions of sustainability of particular importance to the fashion sector. It will take place by the fire, among ancient beech trees and under the open sky. At the heart of this event is a belief that humanity can re-define its relationship with the natural world, and in doing so, can create the new systems – including new fashion systems – that operate within nature’s limits and support human flourishing.

The weekend engages a host of ‘ways of knowing’: experiential, sensory, intellectual, emotional and connects these to fashion and sustainability. There will be time for conversation, opportunities for individual reflection and plenty of space for playing in the woods. We aim to inspire you with new insights and strengthen your connection to a network of peers who have shared in this unique experience.

This event is for anyone active in fashion sustainability including fashion professionals, educators, activists and post-graduate students. You might work for a business, an NGO, a university or be based in the community. Find out more here

We welcome proposals to contribute to the event. Presentations which involve story-telling, making, interaction or movement, and those which are the product of joint enquiry with peers are particularly encouraged.

The event is an initiative of By the Fire. It is hosted by Change in Nature, a leading social enterprise running nature-based experiences. More information on prices available here. Bursaries are available.

We anticipate that this will be an on-going opportunity and so please register your interest with us even if you are unable to attend on these dates. 

If you have any questions please email us through the form on the By The Fire website.

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9 November 2016 – A conversation on Craft Culture

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As part of a week of events called Craft Cultures exploring the contemporary significance of craft at the University of Leicester, I’ll be giving a talk about the Craft of Use alongside Professor Susan Luckman from the University of South Australia and author of Craft and the Creative Economy.

The significance of craft is bound up in ideas and ideals of craft as skillfulness and the power of ingenuity, the transformative potential of pleasure in making and using things, and the desire and satisfaction associated with doing things well. Please join us and take part in the discussion. Details on the event can be found here.

In the field with the Fashion Ecologies project

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The Fashion Ecologies project is up and running, exploring themes of localism and fashion. The fieldwork in Macclesfield, in the north west of England is well under way and we will be heading to Norway to test out our findings and our mapping methods in the gorgeous Tingvoll peninsula in high north west Norway later this year. Follow our progress on the Fashion Ecologies website

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Snippets from the new Routledge Handbook of Sustainability in Fashion

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For a ‘140-character-or-less’ flavour of the Routledge Handbook of Sustainability in Fashion, here are some of my tweets about the new book (in chapter running order) to whet your appetites:

Joanne Entwistle: How fashion history in social science chimes with sustainability concerns in the new #sustfash_handbook. @KingsCollegeLon

Louise St. Pierre: tension/reconciliation w industrial design & nature’s ‘inviolable’ systems @routledgebooks #sustfash_handbook @EmilyCarrU

Are we in ‘The Great Turning’ -the reawakening of our role in living systems? via J Macy & @johnthackara in Routledge’s #sustfash_handbook?

[Read More]

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