Kate Fletcher’s Local Wisdom project explores the ‘craft’ of using garments in resourceful and satisfying ways. It employs these creative actions and ideas, which rarely make it onto catwalks or business agendas, as potential agents of change in tackling some of the problems we face as a global community.
This findings have now been published in the book, Craft of Use; Post-Growth Fashion. Here Kate Fletcher provides a broad imagining of sustainability in fashion that gives attention to tending and wearing garments; that favours their use as much as their creation. The Craft of Use presents a changed social narrative for fashion, born out of ideas of satisfaction and interdependence, of action, knowledge and human agency, that glimpses fashion post-growth. Available to order through the publisher, Routledge.
The craft of use is built on the research conducted through the Local Wisdom project, covering 5 years and over 400 stories of ‘use’. Interviews and photo shoots involving volunteer members of the public to have been used to capture the stories, habits and practices of how we use garments provide alternative views on fashion provision and expression. Unlike the vast majority of fashion messaging surrounding us, these use practices privilege everyday lived experience and typically need little money or materials to make them happen; but instead tap into an abundance of experience, ingenuity and freethinking. This challenges the fashion industry’s ever-increasing dependency on dwindling resources and explores solutions that promote process over purchase.
The project has now evolved to engage an international network of partners in the UK, USA, Canada, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. Each partner aims to amplify the ‘craft of use’ through new design processes, business models and approaches to user engagement with their clothes.
Local Wisdom is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.