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Sustainable Design

FASHION AND SUSTAINABILITY: DESIGN FOR CHANGE with Lynda Grose, Associate Professor, Fashion Design, California College of the Arts


Sustainability efforts in the fashion and textiles industry are generally focused on minimizing impacts of the current system: establishing fiber procurement and fabric processing guidelines and terms of engagement for workers. Yet, the challenges posed by sustainability for fashion are far more profound; for at their core they aim to foster activity that creates social and environmental ‘richness’ and value in the long term, a goal that is qualitatively different from that of the fashion industry today. In this lecture, Lynda Grose will bring together a set of ideas and innovation opportunities explored in the book that she co-authored with Dr. Kate Fletcher: Fashion and Sustainability Design for Change, Laurence King Publishing Ltd, London. 2012. ISBN: 9781856697545.

The book aims to present an industry that moves beyond the problems of unsustainability, to create (design) conditions for understanding a new fashion system and what its products and services mean in our society.

Some of the themes explored include: fashion design that is impact-led, rather than trend-led; innovations emerging from many unexpected places, based on locality, resource use, processes/skills and culture of place; an emergent pluralistic fashion aesthetic; celebrating the immaterial aspects of fashion; treating material components with greater reverence and respect; fashion products and services that adapt and flex; and, the craft of use. At the end of the lecture, attendees will be able to view physical garments illustrating various concepts.

Lynda Grose, Associate Professor, Fashion Design, California College of the Arts, is a fashion designer, educator, and consultant who has worked in the fashion industry for more than two decades. In 1990, she co-founded ESPRIT’s ecollection, the first ecologically responsible clothing line developed by a major corporation and set pioneering standards for the textile industry. She has since worked across all sectors of the economy; from private businesses to non-profit organizations and governments, and from designers to artisans and farmers. She currently serves as assistant professor in CCA’s Fashion Design, Industrial Design and Graduate Programs ( Lynda 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.

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