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Global Fashion Conference: What’s Going On?

Centre for Sustainable Fashion is proud to announce it will be hosting the conference ‘What’s Going On? A Discourse on Fashion, Design and Sustainability’, aiming to explore the dynamics, challenges and propositions of fashion and sustainability through the lens of design thinking and practice. The conference will be the next edition of the Global Fashion Conference, and takes 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

Register here.

Key Speakers

Claire Bergkamp – Global Director of Sustainability and Innovation

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.  Developing its robust environmental and social improvement strategy and worked across the brand and its supply chain internationally to implement it.  Claire has focused particularly on sustainable raw material development and procurement, as well as driving alternative materials and innovation. As such, she works closely with innovators, start-ups and universities to find new sustainable business models and solutions. A key element of her sustainability approach includes supplier engagement and the ongoing improvement in social welfare across the supply chain. Within this context, she also oversees Stella McCartney’s ethical trade and community outreach programmes.

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. Kate works as a consultant with companies, educational establishments and non-governmental organizations to foster change towards sustainability and is a regular keynote speaker. Kate is also an author with over 60 scholarly and popular publications in the field.

Find more about Kate 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. As a practicing designer and educator, Grose has worked with clients across sectors of the economy; from private businesses to nonprofit organizations and governments and from designers to artisans and farmers.

Grose is also an author with over scholarly and popular publications in the field of fashion and sustainability. She is currently collaborating with Dr. Vibeke Reisberg of Design School Kolding and Dr Timo Rissanen of Parsons The New School on speculative concepts which explore the ‘Craft of Use’ and garments designed to evolve over time. She’s an advisor to Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM Product Standard revision advisory group and serves on the board of Goodwill Industries San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties. Grose sees design as a force that can help give form to a sustainable society and is passionate about emergent roles for designers working in this context.

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. 
For more than 20 years Angela McRobbie has investigated the practices of fashion design as creative labour, with particular emphasis on micro-enterprises and more recently ‘start ups’. She has published extensively on this topic and is currently completing a monograph based on the AHRC-funded CREATe project titled Fashion Micro-enterprises in London, Berlin and Milan. The focus of this work is on the impact of the Euro-zone economic crisis of 2008 for arts and fashion graduates, the impact of pro-active urban cultural policy regimes and the consequences for London’s young designers of the aggressive neoliberalisation of the last 2 decades, and their being ‘costed out’ of the city.  

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.

Praveen has been actively involved with academic projects concerning Systems Thinking and Design which involving complex issues and problems ranging from healthcare to mobility. He has also been involved with design research Projects with Microsoft, Nokia, Hyundai, Pininfarina, Panasonic, Steelcase, Siemens, RCA etc. He is widely travelled, presenting in forums and conducting design workshops and seminars in the area of Systems Thinking in Design, Sustainability and Universal Design across many countries

He has been the India liaison for the “O2 Ecological Design Global Network” for many years. Recently Praveen has been on the jury of “India Design Mark”, “Design for Change” global movement for children and “Innovative Mobility Solutions” at PACE Global Forum.

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.

Understanding how privilege (whether due to race, class, gender, education et al) gives them access to networks not available to many underprivileged groups, and seeing how this access can be seen as capital, RPM wants to transfer the capital to support the fight, and share the networks with the smaller activist organisations and charities, which often struggle with resources and funding. RPM connects highly skilled creatives, professionals and experts with them, in pro bono ‘Power Up’ projects. Every project RPM sets up aims to support groups who centre the voices of lived experience in their work, to bridge the gap between the creative and social sectors, and attract new activists to join their community to dream up creative projects that amplify the voices of dissent.

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.” Inspired by the great skill and creativity in women’s community groups, but frustrated by their financial insecurity in the context of budget cuts and rising rents. With the fashion industry addicted to Photoshop, and wholesale exploitation of millions of female garment workers worldwide, an ethical fashion brand, championing women from worker to wearer was born.

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.

A former Senior Advisor to the UK Higher Education Academy on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and a National Teaching Fellow (NTF), he has worked in environmental and sustainability education in the academic and NGO fields nationally and internationally for over four decades, including as a consultant and advisor on UNESCO’S Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programmes.He is currently co-chair of the UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD International Jury, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Schumacher Institute.  He is widely published in this area, the most recent book being Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education: Remaking Education for the Future,  (co-edited with Bob Jickling,Pivot/Palgrave, 2017).

Find out more about Stephen 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.

Otto has published articles in The Design Journal, Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, Fashion Practice, CoDesign Journal, The Journal of Modern Craft, Textile Cloth and Culture, Craft Research, Organizational Aesthetics, Creative Industries Journal & Journal for Artistic Research. His book chapters on design activism are part of The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Product Design (2017), The Routledge Companion to Design Research (2015), The Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion (2014), as well as other design anthologies.

Find out more about Otto here.

Power, Nature, Culture, Society

Fashioning the Future Awards, photo by Sean Michael

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 invite you to explore the dynamics, challenges and propositions of fashion and sustainability through the lens of design thinking and practice. That is, we ask you to examine ‘What’s Going On?’ in this emerging field of study. The conference theme is 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 are 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 have received approximately 250 submissions of original unpublished works to choose from! They include 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 align with at least one of the agenda headings: Power, Nature, Culture, Society. Possible themes relating to these agendas include:

Fashion design for democracy
Fashion business practices for better buying Fashion education for equality
Fashion as activism
Fashion and politics
Costing and valuing fashion
Fashion and the media

Fashion and learning from nature Fashion, art and the environment Fashioned by nature
Fashion systems for sustainability Fashion, technology and nature Fashion habits and habitats Fashion and spirituality
Fashion and human nature

Fashion’s social practices
Fashion, science and sustainability
Fashion Designer and sustainability
Fashion making and meaning
Cultures of care and fashion
Fashion identity, stories and rituals

Fashion, migration and conflict
Fashion, technology and sustainability
Fashion Design for Sustainability strategies, methods and tools
Fashion futures, speculative design and scenario planning
Fashion and dignity
Fashion entrepreneurship and sustainable prosperity
Geographies of fashion

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