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What’s Going On? – Global Fashion Conference

To celebrate our ten year anniversary, Centre for Sustainable Fashion proudly announced it would be hosting the conference ‘What’s Going On? A Discourse on Fashion, Design and Sustainability’, exploring the dynamics, challenges and propositions of fashion and sustainability through the lens of design thinking and practice. The conference was the 2018 edition of the Global Fashion Conference, and took place at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London on the 31st October and 1st November 2018.

The Global Fashion Conference is a bi-annual international conference, which aims to contribute to a multidisciplinary approach to fashion studies and brings together academia and industry, promoting a more sustainable model of development.

For further details visit the conference website at

Find the full programme here.

Key Speakers & Panel Members

Deepa Patel – Creative Facilitator

Deepa Patel is a creative facilitator and strategic thinker with a passion for the arts, social justice and conversation. Among other things, she is currently working with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, UNHCR and the University of Sheffield in Zaatari, a refugee camp in Jordan.

Professor Dilys Williams, FRSA – Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion

Dilys established Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a University of the Arts Research Centre in 2008, supported by London College of Fashion, the centre’s base. Guiding the centre’s exploration of fashion and sustainability, her work contributes to the study of fashion design for sustainability, with a particular focus on design roles and practices and methods of participatory design. This study is applied to new forms of education and business practice, public and political dialogue. Dilys’ work draws on her extensive experience as a lead womenswear designer with international collections for Katharine Hamnett, Liberty and Whistles alongside an internationally based and globally recognised teaching and research portfolio.

Professor Sandy Black – Professor of Fashion and Textile Design and Technology at London College of Fashion

Sandy has extensive experience in both the fashion industry and academia. Sandy focuses on inter-disciplinary design-led research, in the context of sustainability. Recent books include The Handbook of Fashion Studies and the acclaimed Sustainable Fashion Handbook.  Sandy also founded and co-edits the academic journal Fashion Practice: Design, Creative Process and the Fashion Industry. Recent projects focus on the role of design and new business models in addressing sustainability issues in the fashion and textile sectors towards a more sustainable prosperity.

Dr Isabel Cantista – Founder of FFI

Referee at the Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management and the European Journal of Marketing. She has been also Referee for Social Sciences projects for the ESF – European Science Foundation at Strasbourg several times.

In 2011 Isabel founded FFI – Fast Forward Innovation Ltd a consultancy company that develops projects on innovation. One of these projects aims to bring together academia and industry on an international basis: Global Fashion Conference. This conference is hold bi-annually in a different university and has had five editions so far. Her main interest in research and consultancy lies on innovation, particularly on fashion business and also on the luxury market. In her approach to innovation she always has in mind the model of sustainable development.

Harold Tillman, CBE – Fashion Retailer Entrepreneur and Former Head of British Fashion Council

CBE is a fashion entrepreneur and active supporter of fashion education.  His roles have  included being head of Jaeger and Aquascutum and longstanding chair of the British Fashion Council. He is currently chair of Common Objective, Fashion Matters, London College of Fashion‘s fundraising committee and is also a trustee of the V&A. He also sits on the board of the Fashion Enterprise Forum, which raises cash for young industry entrepreneurs. Tillman’s generous support of fashion education includes the setting upof substantial scholarships at London College of Fashion, of which he is an alumnus and supporting projects at Centre for Sustainable Fashion.

Dana Thomas – Fashion and Culture Journalist

Dana Thomas is the author of Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueenand John Gallianoand the New York Timesbestseller Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, both published by The Penguin Press. She is a regular contributor toThe New York Times. She began her career writing for the Style section of The Washington Post in Washington, D.C. and from 1995 to 2011, she served as the European Arts & Entertainment Correspondent for Newsweekin Paris. She has written for the New York Times Magazine,The New Yorker, WSJ, the Financial Times,Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Architectural Digestand Elle Decor and was the European Editor of Condé Nast Portfolio. Thomas is a member of the Anglo-American Press Association in Paris and the Overseas Press Club. She taught journalism at The American University of Paris from 1996 to 1999. In 1987, she received the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Scholarship and the Ellis Haller Award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism. In 2016, France’s Minister of Culture bestowed upon Thomas the honor of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres(Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters). And in 2017, she was a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good. She lives in Paris.

Edwina Ehrman – Senior Exhibition Curator, V&A Musuem

Edwina Ehrman is a Senior Exhibition Curator at the V&A and a specialist in 19thcentury fashion. She is the Curator of Fashioned from Nature. Her previous exhibitions include Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear (2016) and Wedding Dresses 1775-2014 (2014). From 2009 – 2013 she was the lead curator for The Clothworkers’ Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion, the V&A’s fashion archive at Blythe House in West Kensington. Her publications include Fashioned from Nature (V&A Publications, 2017), London Couture 1923-1975: British Luxury (V&A Publications, 2015) of which she is co-editor and a contributor, and Wedding Dress: 300 Years of Bridal Fashions (V&A Publications 2011, 2014).

Mary Creagh – UK Member of Parliament

First elected as MP for Wakefield in 2005, Mary held the Environment, Transport and International Development briefs in the Shadow Cabinet between 2010 and 2015. Mary currently serves as Chair of the Environmental Audit Select Committee a position she has held since Feb 2016.

Frances Corner, OBE – Head of College and Pro-Vice Chancellor of UAL

Professor Frances Corner OBE is the Head of London College of Fashion and Pro Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London. She has over 20 years’ experience within the higher education sector at a national and international level.

Frances is Chair of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes, a Trustee of The Wallace Collection and Chair of Trustees of the House of Illustration.  She also sits on the British Fashion CouncilIndustry Advisory Board and was recently named in the Business of Fashion 500 – a professional index of key people shaping the global fashion industry.

Find out more about Frances Corner here.

Orsola de Castro – Founder and Creative Director, Fashion Revolution

Orsola de Castro is an internationally recognised opinion leader in sustainable fashion. Her career started as a designer with the pioneering upcycling label From Somewhere, which she launched in 1997 until 2014. In 2013, with Carry Somers, she founded Fashion Revolution, marking the tragedyin Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013 when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed killing and injuring thousands of workers. Orsola is a regular key note speaker and mentor, Associate Lecturer at UAL, as well as Central Saint Martins Visiting Fellow.

Find more about Orsola de Castro here.

Katharine Hamnett – Fashion Designer

A graduate of Central St.Martins, Katharine Hamnett London launched in 1979 with a range of eclectic women’s designs – menswear followed in 1981.  Also in that year Katharine released the first of many slogan tees CHOOSE LIFE; soon followed by EDUCATION NOT MISSILES, WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR BAN NOW, PEACE, SAVE THE FUTURE – these are central to the Hamnett DNA of the provocative and political writ large.

Find more about Katharine Hamnett here.

Lola Young, OBE – Baroness Young of Hornsey

She takes an active interest in ethical issues in international trade, particularly the garment industry, is a Trustee of the Aid by Trade Foundation and is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society.

Helen Crowley Kering, Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation

Dr. Helen Crowley joined Kering as the Conservation and Ecosystems Services Specialist in November 2011. Prior to Kering, Helen was Associate Director at the Wildlife Conservation Society for 11 years. She has a background in field-based conservation and development projects particularly in Africa and Madagascar, as well as market-based conservation initiatives and designing corporate-NGO partnerships. Helen has also worked as a consultant to several corporations where she was responsible for helping them implement sustainability strategies. During her tenure at Kering, Helen has been advising and supporting Kering’s Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle brands with a focus on innovative cross-cutting sustainability solutions, including sustainable sourcing and manufacturing processes, to help guide the Group’s overall sustainability strategy and programme implementation.

Claire Bergkamp – Global Director of Sustainability and Innovation, Stella McCartney

Claire Bergkamp joined Stella McCartney in 2012 and is the brand’s Global Director of Sustainability and Innovation. During her tenure, Claire has helped establish the brand’s leadership and reputation in sustainability.

Find out more about Stella McCartney & sustainability here.

Prof. Kate Fletcher – Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion

Kate’s pioneering work in the field, which ranges from developing ‘slow fashion ideas and practice to directional sustainability projects, including Fashion Ecologies and Local Wisdom has engaged thousands of people worldwide with the ‘craft of use’ and ‘post-growth’ fashion.

Find more about Prof. Kate Fletcher here.

Lynda Grose – Associate Professor at California College of the Arts

Lynda Grose co-founded ESPRIT’s ecollection, the first ecologically responsible clothing line developed by a major corporation and framed an impacts approach to fashion and sustainability which became adopted industry-wide.

Find out more about Prof. Lynda Grose here.

Prof. Angela McRobbie – Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths University of London 

Angela McRobbie has recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.  She carried out her early work at Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, her most recent books include The Aftermath of Feminism 2008, Be Creative 2015. Currently completing Feminism, Neoliberalism and Popular Culture (Polity 2019).

A regular contributor to BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour and Thinking Allowed and writes for OpenDemocracy and for The Guardian Comment is Free. 

Find out more about Angela McRobbie here. 

Praveen Nahar – Senior Faculty member in Industrial Design at National Institute of Design, India – Chairperson for International Programmes – Head of Design Vision Centre

Praveen’s areas of academic and professional interests include Systems Thinking in Design, Design Thinking, Sustainable Design, Design in the Public Domain, Rapid Product Development, Appropriate Technology and Strategic Design.

Find out more about Praveen Nahar here.

Raw Power Movement

Amid rising anger and a state of fierce political awakening — brought on by growing prejudice, polarisation and the destructive impacts of austerity — Raw Power Movement are a group who recognise the need to channel an emergent wave of progressive energy into a muscular and robust grassroots force for change.

Find out more about Raw Power Movement here.

Sophie Slater – Brand Director at Birdsong

Sophie Slater is co-founder and Brand Director of ethical, sustainable, feminist fashion label Birdsong. Birdsong is powered by women’s charities who make garments in East London, with an ethos of “no sweatshops and no photoshop.”

Sophie occasionally lectures and runs workshops on body positivity, feminism and zine making. She’s also written about ethical fashion for i-D magazine, Refinery29, and The Guardian.

Find out more about Birdsong here.

Dr. Stephen Sterling – Emeritus Professor of Sustainability Education at the Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Plymouth, UK.

Stephen Sterling is widely renowned nationally and internationally for his work over many years on what education’s response should be to the global issues of sustainability, and has built a substantial reputation as one of the most eminent thought leaders on the theory and practice of sustainability education.

Find out more about Dr. Stephen Sterling here.

Otto von Busch – Associate Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons, The New School for Design.

Otto holds a Ph.D. in design from the School of Design and Craft at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and has taught and exhibited work on the topic of fashion and empowerment over the last fifteen years. He has a background in arts, craft, design and theory and his projects explore how fashion can mobilize community capabilities through collaborative craft and social activism.

Find out more about Otto von Busch here.

Ania Zoltkowski – Designer & MA Fashion Futures Alumni, London College of Fashion 

Her current practice revolves around the intersection of fashion and textile design with spirituality, health and wellness, Nature, ancient and Indigenous wisdom, resilience and craft. Her work challenges contemporary design and consumption systems, as she proposes a design for sustainability as founded upon a connection to our spiritual selves, one another and to the Environment.

Ania’s own design practice also includes translating some of these theoretical ideas into visual manifestations through illustration, garment making, embroideries, and other creative processes.

Ania is currently co-creating Sustainability 5.0 – an online space for designers and creatives to upgrade their sustainability blueprint, through connecting around concepts of spirituality, ancient wisdom, Nature, community and self-care.

Find out more about Ania Zoltkowski here.

Power, Nature, Culture, Society

Photo by Valentin Russo

We humans have always fashioned protection and adornment for our bodies from the world around us. Beyond this, the activities and artefacts of fashion act as a barometer of our lives and lifestyles. Today the activity of shielding and embellishing the body is a personal process as well as a global industry with powerful ramifications for the ecological and social world in which we live.

In this conference, the first to exclusively examine this area, we explored the dynamics, challenges and propositions of fashion and sustainability through the lens of design thinking and practice. We asked delegates to examine ‘What’s Going On?’ in this emerging field of study. The conference theme was understood in the broadest of terms, encouraging a diverse range, addressing design and sustainability research in the context of fashion and its systems from a variety of philosophical angles and methodological approaches.

CSF were keen to represent a multiplicity of voices and perspectives, including those from the Global South, those within, between and of no traditional disciplinary tribes and from all types of research experience.

After our call for papers, we received approximately 250 submissions of original unpublished works to choose from! They included long and short papers, interactive sessions, special sessions, photography, film, performance and other modes of investigation and representation that can be accommodated within the space and time of the conference.

Submissions aligned with at least one of the agenda headings: Power, Nature, Culture, Society.

The Committee

Global Fashion Conference 2018 Organising Committee

Dilys Williams, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, UAL
Paul Yuille, London College of Fashion, UAL
Nina Stevenson, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, UAL
Zoe Norton, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, UAL
Stéphanie Kunert, University of Lyon
Isabel Cantista, Universidade Lusíada do Porto

Global Fashion Conference 2018 Scientific Committee

Prof. Lilyan Berlim, UVA, Brazil
Prof. Sandy Black, (CSF) London College of Fashion, UAL, UK
Dr. Jessica Bugg, RMIT, Australia
Prof. Burak Cakmac, The New School Parsons, NYC, US
Dr. Isabel Cantista, Universidade Lusíada do Porto, Portugal
Prof. Simonetta Carbonaro, University of Borås, Sweden
Prof. Luisa Collina, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Prof. Frances Corner, London College of Fashion, UAL, UK
Dr. Damien Delille, University of Lyon, France
Prof. Rebecca Earley, Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, UK
Dr. Joanne Entwhistle, Kings College London, UK
Dr. Yolanda Espiña, School of Arts – Catholic University of Portugal
Prof. Kate Fletcher, (CSF) London College of Fashion, UAL, UK
Dr. Lynda Grose, California College of the Arts, US
Dr. Dominique Jacomet, IFM Paris, France
Dr. Stéphanie Kunert, University of Lyon, France
Prof. Cláudio Magalhães, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dr. Praveen Nahar, National Institute of Design, India
Dr. Marco Pedroni, University of eCampus, Italy
Prof. Viebeke Riisberg, Design School Kolding, Denmark
Dr. Teresa Sádaba, ISEM University of Navarra, Spain
Dr. Rita Salvado, University Beira Interior, Portugal
Prof. Yoko Takagi, Bunka Gakuen University, Japan
Dr. Paula Von Wachenfeldt, Stockholm University
Dr. Sophie Woodward, Manchester, UK
Prof. Dilys Williams, (CSF) London College of Fashion, UAL, UK
Dr. David Zajtmann, IFM Paris, France

Sponsors and Partners