Openwear is a collaborative clothing project exploring new and alternative models for fashion that promote open design and peer to peer production. Through collective action, shared practice and an online community this new initiative provides a platform for designers to come together.
Several weeks ago, I attended a conference hosted by Openwear titled: Refashioning Fashion, new scenarios of clothing. I presented my PhD research and was lucky enough to meet and listen to a series of talks exploring: open source business models, designing participatory interactions, re-thinking craftsmanship through new tools, methods, process and sustainability through social, economic and environmental perspectives.
Above is some work produced during five days of intensive workshops used to design their first collective collection and series of look maps to enable and invite anyone to download the "how-to" from their platform in an open source formate.
I found this conference to be both insightful and inspirational. I could relate to their work through my own practice and it was a great opportunity to see the multitude of ways that co-design could be applied to fashion and diffused online. The struggle between traditional models and this new way of working is always contested through economic arguments - how can a professional designer sustain an income and maintain their specialised skills if they are constantly revealing how they make what the produce new work?? This conference covered business and economics from an interdisciplinary team of experts who offered a counter argument.
The conference concluded with the statement "you are what you share" a nice tag line and mini manifesto for collective action. The collective collection is available for download and if your interested in joining the discussion sign up to their online community.
My presentation Co-Everything Part 2 is available for download / to view online.