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What’s Going On? – Global Fashion Conference

When Centre for Sustainable Fashion set out in 2008, we convened fashion system actors together to co-sense what was happening and what needed to be done. A gap in fashion and sustainability research, education and industry practice became clear.

In 2018, as we mark our ten year anniversary and 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 31 October and 1 November 2018.

Through two days of listening, discussing, watching and debating, we explored the dynamics, challenges and propositions of fashion and sustainability. The diversity of our assembled perspectives proved an exciting exploration, through the guiding themes of Power, Nature, Culture and Society.

For further details, visit the conference website.

See the full programme.


Key Speakers & Panel Members

Claire Bergkamp / Global Director of Sustainability & Innovation, Stella Mccartney

Sandy Black / Professor of Fashion and Textile Design and Technology, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion

Otto Von Busch / Associate Professor of Integrated Design, Parsons New School of Design

Orsola De Castro / Co-Founder, Fashion Revolution

Frances Corner / Professor of Art and Design Education, Head of London College of Fashion; Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of The Arts London

Mary Creagh / Member of UK Parliament

Helen Crowley / Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation, Kering

Heta Dobrowolski / Co-Founder, Raw Power Movement

Edwina Ehrman / Senior Exhibition Curator, Curator of Fashioned From Nature, Victoria & Albert Museum

Kate Fletcher / Professor of Sustainability, Design, Fashion, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion

Lynda Grose / Associate Professor, Chair of The Fashion Program, California College of The Arts

Katharine Hamnett / Fashion Designer

Angela Mcrobbie / Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths University of London

Praveen Nahar / Senior Faculty Member in Industrial Design, National Institute of Design – India

Deepa Patel / Creative Facilitator

Sophie Slater / Director, Birdsong

Stephen Sterling / Emeritus Professor, University of Plymouth

Dana Thomas / Fashion and Culture Journalist

Harold Tillman / Cbe / Fashion Retailer Entrepreneur and Former Chair of British Fashion Council

Dilys Williams / Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion

Lola Young / Obe/ Baroness Young of Hornsey

Ania Zoltkowski / Designer and Ma Fashion Futures Alumni, London College of Fashion

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Welcome and Opening to What’s Going On? From Dilys Williams

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Talk from Mary Creagh MP, Member of UK Parliament

Speaker session with Kate Fletcher & Helen Crowley chaired by Dilys Williams

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Speaker session with Stephen Sterling, Edwina Ehrman & Praveen Nahar chaired by Deepa Patel

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Katharine Hamnett in conversation with Dana Thomas

Speaker session with Otto Von Busch & Professor Lynda Grose chaired by Dilys Williams

Panel Discussion with Sophie Slater, Claire Bergkamp, Orsola De Castro & Heta Dobrowolski chaired by Sandy Black

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Reflections from Harold Tillman CBE

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Professor Frances Corner OBE, Lola Young OBE & Ania Zoltkowski in conversation with Angela McRobbie


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

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