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Fashion Design for Sustainability: a framework for participatory practice

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To foster an understanding of our interdependence as humans in the natural world, new ways of knowing, doing, being and learning to live together (UNESC, 2011) must be formed. Such a dramatic shift from dominant worldviews of control over nature towards co-existence within it involves critical reflection of intentions, beliefs, habits and practices at personal, societal and species levels (Walker, 2011). Such systemic re-consideration requires us to design ways for everyone to participate in sustainability across a spectrum of engagement, circumstances and locations. A nascent, burgeoning field of Fashion Design for Sustainability (FDfS) is explored by the author and others. It seeks ways to live well together in nature through the social, industrial, cultural, economic and educational dimensions of fashion design as a set of personal and professional practices taking place from micro to macro scales. This research explores ways for a wide range of participants to invert the current fashion system from one that exacerbates inequalities in our relationships, to one that recognises our ecological context. This paper describes a framing for fashion in such a context, based on values, principles, practices and capabilities, applied to a range of settings. This framework has been developed to be in constant beta, maintaining its underlying ambition, whilst informed by participants. The paper describes the development and recent applications of this framework on an open source platform. The author seeks to share findings with those who guide fashion design practices for sustainability or seek to apply an ecologically based framework to their own design practices.

Authors: Dilys Williams

Additional Info

  • Topics of presentation: Design for Sustainable Materials and Energy
  • Venue: Italy


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