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.
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.
Guest Editor: Kate Fletcher, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London
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.
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…
14th October 2014, Colchane community centre, Chile. Audience of around fifty Aymara weavers drawn from the local area. We shared our garment stories and ideas, rooted in their experience, of how the West could engage with fashion and sustainability differently.
This October I spent a remarkable couple of weeks in Chile exploring its capital, Santiago, and the far North East of the country. High in the North I spent time with a group of wonderful, resolute, jovial Aymara weavers and their landscape of the high plateau of the Atacama Desert (thank you to all my companions, to the British Council for its generous support and to Gabriela Farias Zurita for instigating it!). My trip was designed around a series of events to galvanise ideas and action around fashion and sustainability in Latin America, with Santiago at its hub. To inspire a revolution-of-sorts in a continent that loves a revolution… heaven! And before that to get a sense of the place. To feel and experience what sustainability in this context is and could be.
From 11th – 24th October I will be in Chile taking part in a number of events and activities celebrating sustainability and fashion as a fusion of the traditional and progressive. Come and take part in a series of events that mark out Chile as at the centre of fashion-sustainability activity in Latin America, including a free public lecture in Santiago on 21st October; a panel discussion on the morning of the 22nd involving politicians, psychologists and designers; and workshops also on 22nd October, for which you must register.
Before that though I will spend some time with weavers in the far North of the country in the Atacama Desert. And even before that you can read a piece in the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio about my visit (p14 onwards).
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.
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.