Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys

Published in 2008 by Earthscan (London).

Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys brings together for the first time information about lifecycle sustainability impacts of fashion and textiles, practical alternatives, design concepts and social innovation. It challenges existing ideas about the scope and potential of sustainability issues in fashion and textiles, and sets out a more pluralistic, engaging and forward-looking picture, drawing on ideas of systems thinking, human needs, local products, slow fashion and participatory design, as well as knowledge of materials.

The book not only defines the field, it also challenges it, and uses design ideas to help shape more sustainable products and promote social change. Arranged in two sections, the first four chapters represent key stages of the lifecycle: material cultivation/extraction, production, use and disposal. The remaining four chapters explore design approaches for altering the scale and nature of consumption, including service design, localism, speed and user involvement. While each of these chapters is complete in and of itself, their real value comes from what they represent together: innovative ways of thinking about textiles and garments based on sustainability values and an interconnected approach to design.

Sample chapter available here.

Book reviews

‘We badly need a sustainable fashion revolution; one where buyers, designers, retailers and consumers fill our closets with clothes that are more durable and less impactful and face up to their true environmental and social cost. As a matter of urgency, all of the above should read this book … At last a book that dispels the idea that fashion is only interested in trend-driven fluff: not only does it have a brain, but it could be a sustainable one.’ Lucy Siegle, Crafts Magazine

‘Fashion is ephemeral by nature, but Kate Fletcher describes how clothing manufacture could be turned into a sustainable industry. Her detailed book assesses systems as well as products, examining possible solutions from raw material to final design.’ Nature

I’ll probably be one of the first to buy it… We NEED this book.’ Carole Collet, Course Director, MA Textile Futures, Central St Martins

‘This is a must read.’ Design 21

‘Provides the foundations for a radical new perspective.’ Ethical Pulse

‘The depth of Fletcher’s writing will take people’s understanding of ‘Sustainable Fashion and Textiles’ to a new level.’ Treehugger‘[A] fascinating book.’ John Thackara, Doors of Perception

‘This is an excellent book for producers and designers of fashion and textiles who want to make a positive contribution through sustainable products and practices.’  Family & Consumer Sciences

‘Read this book to understand how we can inspire consumers to protect the planet and people through the passion and energy of design.’ Mike Barry, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Marks and Spencer

‘Much-needed… this is an excellent reference book that will be turned to time and time again.’ The Higher Education Academy Art Design Media Resource Centre