PhD Title - e-Co-Textile Design: How can textile design and making, combined with social media tools, achieve a more sustainable fast fashion future?

 

Abstract

This research acknowledges that the convenience of fast fashion has shifted dependence on skills such as dressmaking, repairing and altering, passed from one generation to the next. Because of the accessible and affordable nature of mass manufacture the consumer is becoming less active within the design, production and maintenance of their clothing. This research proposes to up-skill consumers and intercepts their flow of fast fashion consumption using textile design interventions. These explore how textile design processes can be combined with social media tools to support a renaissance of making through four different concepts to empower consumer participation.

The Textile Design Interventions demonstrate accessible processes of making and aim to broaden engagement. The democratic ethos of the interventions also enables agency to evolve beyond orchestrated interactions. Through evaluating the process of designing, developing and demonstrating textile design interventions a new proposition emerged titled ‘e-Co-Textile Design’. This model demonstrates how social and digital media can provide a vehicle for textile designers to facilitate participatory experiences.

Fast fashion, both in terms of the product and activity, challenges the concept of sustainability. This research positions textile design interventions from outside the fashion system as a means of achieving more sustainable consumer activity, through longer-term consideration and connectivity toward fast fashion purchases. This is achieved by making accessible newfound skills and resources via social media. Future research requires a longitudinal study to evaluate the impact from the consumer’s perspective.