My recent TED talk, recorded at the TEDx event in Macclesfield in April this year, is now online. Look out for hands behind back (I had been told to stop using the clicker like a baton) and the wayward fringe. In Usership: Fashion Beyond Consumerism I give a whistlestop tour of some of the key ideas involved in the Craft of Use and the start of a new set of experiences of fashion not only shaped by shopping for new pieces.
It was recorded alongside seven other talks linked in some way to the town of Macc in the North of England. The were many threads of connection between them – I saw them joined by a shared practice of fostering change including through: localism, nature connection, holding corporate giants to account, better communication, citizen science and greater collective care of those with mental health issues. I encourage you to browse the full Macclesfield menu. They are wonderful.
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
Rather than continually making more clothes using more materials, there should be a greater emphasis on how clothes can be lived with, tended and used. The Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at University of the Arts London presents an inspiring manifesto for satisfaction and resourcefulness in the fashion industry.
With huge delight I can announce that the much anticipated book the Craft of Use: Post-Growth Fashion is now published! It features many of the stories of using clothes gathered as part of the Local Wisdom project along with work from seven international teams of designers and specially commissioned work from fashion photography Kerry Dean.
The Craft of Use event that took place at London College of Fashion in March has been summarised in image, word and video and is available online. It is a foretaste of the Craft of Use book about fashion that it is revitalised by resource scarcity to be published in 2015 by Routledge.
Follow the link below to listen here to my interview about the Craft of Use and long lasting garments with Jenni Murray for Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4, broadcast on 21st April 2014. The conversation included Melanie Rickey, one of the founding editors of Grazia Magazine and chair of a recent discussion on fashion and sustainability at the 2014 Women of the World Festival on London’s South Bank.
The day-long Craft of Use event at London College of Fashion marking the culmination of the latest phase of research on the Local Wisdom project, passed by in a whirlwind of performance theatre, presentations, interactive workshops, sound installation, discussion and poetry by the remarkable Sabrina Mahfouz written for and on the day. The writer and design thinker John Thackara commented about the event that, “It felt as if a huge, immobile mass (the inevitability of growth and destruction) was creaking and cracking as if ready to fall away…”. And for Avner Offer, Chichele Professor Emeritus of Economic History at University of Oxford, it was “deeply satisfying… to be immersed in so much joy. Beyond expectations: an oasis of creativity and concern.”
A summary of the day will be available soon. And the Craft of Use book will be published by Routledge in 2015.
The next few months look set to be varied and dynamic… I’m currently working on an edited book for the prestigious Routledge Handbook Series (thank you to all the fabulous contributors); the Local Wisdom project exploring the ‘Craft of Use‘ is deep in its synthesis phase; I’m figuring out a whole new direction to my work that has evolved after the sailing trip to the Western Isles, thinking about the natural history of garments; and I’ve been reading really eclectically… currently “Arctic Dreams” by Barry Lopez…
A massive thank you to all those who shared stories of how they use their garments in Wellington and Melbourne over the last few weeks as part of the Local Wisdom project. And of course huge appreciation to the teams working at Massey in New Zealand led by Holly McQuillan and Jen Whitty and at RMIT in Australia co-ordinated by Jo Cramer. Photos and stories from both places available on the Local Wisdom website within the month… here’s a taster of some of the Wellington images, photography by Aliscia Young.