Our PostDoctoral Research Fellow Francesco Mazzarella tells us about the co-creation workshop he will facilitate with Professor Helen Storey at the upcoming Global Fashion Conference, aimed at mapping out the fashion activism landscape.
The mainstream ecosystem of fashion production and consumption is proving unsustainable in terms of autonomous livelihoods, cultural heritage, social equality, and environmental stewardship. This is building momentum for an increasing number of designers to play an activist role, entailing design thinking and practice aimed at challenging the status quo and activating a process of positive change. Whilst we see an opportunity for design activists to create counter-narratives towards sustainability in fashion, we acknowledge a need to further investigate the roles, values, skills, and methods that design activists can adopt in their practice.
Hosting the Global Fashion Conference 2018 ‘What’s Going On? A Discourse in Fashion, Design and Sustainability’ is a timely opportunity for us at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion to question, reflect on, and shape the global agenda of sustainability, especially through the lens of social design thinking and practice. As part of an on-going research project on fashion activism sponsored by Neal’s Yard Remedies, Dr Francesco Mazzarella and Professor Helen Storey have joined together to facilitate the co-creation workshop ‘What’s Going on in Fashion Activism?’. On November 1st from 3.35 to 4.20pm at the London College of Fashion (room JPS 511), after an introductory presentation to set the context and aim of the project, the workshop participants will engage in a series of hands-on, participatory activities aimed at mapping out the fashion activism landscape. Building on their own experience or knowledge of others in relation to fashion activism, the participants will be asked to map out who fashion activists are or might be (in terms of roles, visions, and values), how fashion activism is or might be practiced (in terms of skills, methods, and outcomes), and when fashion activism might or might not work (in terms of challenges and opportunities for change within the activists themselves or in the fashion system). A collective reflection will then be facilitated to explore the role of counter-narratives towards sustainability in fashion.
The workshop is aimed at participants with diverse background, interested not only in activism, but also in fashion design and sustainability in general, working in research, education, and practice. We have designed the session to be light-touch, yet highly thought-provoking, and we expect it contributes to furthering knowledge and practice in the emergent field of fashion activism. We look forward to mapping out the fashion activism landscape with you!
Photo credit: Kerry Dean.