EcoSessions: The Crisis of Stuff

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TED researcher Professor Rebecca Earley will be one of the panelists in EcoSessions: The Crisis of Stuff panel discussion later this week. The panel consists of Beyond Retro’s CEO Steven Bethell, the co-founder of Fashion Revolution Orsola de Castro and will be moderated by ethical fashion and sustainable living expert Kate Black.

 

The fashion industry is producing 150 billion garments per year and too many are ending up in landfill. This EcoSession focuses on the crisis of a consumerism, consumption and the opportunity for change. The panelists will give the audience a fuller, richer and more honest picture of our current ‘crisis of stuff’ and what can be done about it.

 

Steven Bethell: Beyond Retro CEO Steven Bethell has been in the recycling business for over 20 years, starting out with glass, cans, and paper before moving on to textiles. As an offshoot of his Canada-based textile trade company Bank & Vogue, Beyond Retro was an early pioneer of the east London vintage scene at its inception 13 years ago, and remains a seminal retailer for savvy secondhand shoppers across the UK and Sweden. The brand comes to Pure with its eponymous Beyond Retro Label, a fully-fledged fashion brand of apparel and accessories crafted from reclaimed materials. Bethell’s career-defining passion for sustainability makes him the perfect candidate to advise retailers on successfully integrating this message into their marketing strategy.

 

Prof. Rebecca Earley: Trained as a printed textile designer (BA Hons, Loughborough, 1992) and fashion print designer (MA, Central Saint Martins, 1994), Becky set up the B.Earley studio in 1995 with help from the Prince’s Trust, Arts Council and the Crafts Council. She is also a design researcher at University of the Arts London and an industry consultant. She divides her working life between Central Saint Martins where she is Director of TFRC, Chelsea College of Arts where she is a principal and co researcher in TED, and Sweden where she is key part of the research consortium work for MISTRA Future Fashion and the EU Horizon 2020 project, Trash-2-Cash. Prof. Earley also supervises PhD researchers who are exploring sustainable textile design and material innovation.

 

Orsola de Castro: A pioneer and internationally recognised opinion leader in sustainable fashion. In 1997 she founded From Somewhere, a label designing clothes made entirely from pre-consumer waste: disregarded materials such as surplus and production cut-offs. The label combined sustainable thinking with fashion-forward design, bringing quality and craftsmanship to ‘exquisite rubbish’. From Somewhere collaborations include Jigsaw, Tesco, Speedo, and a series of best selling capsule collections for Topshop. In 2006, she co-founded the British Fashion Council pioneering initiative Estethica, which she curated until 2014. Estethica was London Fashion Week’s showcase for labels designing sustainably: ethics and aesthetics combined. It nurtured new generations of like-minded designers and supported more established brands who are mindful of their supply chain. In 2014, with Carry Somers, she founded Fashion Revolution Day, marking the disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013 when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed killing and injuring thousands of workers. Raising public awareness of the continuing social and environmental catastrophes in our global fashion supply chains, Fashion Revolution has become a global campaign with participation in over 85 countries around the world. Orsola is a regular key note speaker and mentor as well as a Central Saint Martins Visiting Fellow and Practitioner in Residence for Central Saint Martins Fashion MA.

 

Kate Black: Recognized as an expert in ethical fashion and sustainable living, Kate Black is the founder of Magnifeco.com (launched ’09) and author of ‘Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty’ (published 10/15), which has been featured in The Guardian, Vogue Italia, Metro, NOW Magazine and more. Kate is also the founder of EcoSessions, a global event series connecting industry, designers and citizens to discuss change. Fashioned to provide learning, engagement and networking, EcoSessions are an opportunity for industry and the design communities to forge relationships and hatch collaborations and for citizens to engage directly with their favorite brands. She is highly in demand as a speaker and consults with CFDA fashion brands on elevating their Ethical IQ.

 

Book your ticket here!

 

Address:
Beyond Retro Dalston – 92-100 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB

Date:
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

‘Making… together’ by Dr Rosie Hornbuckle

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My background is product and industrial design with an interest in social innovation, so when I started working at TED on the Trash2Cash project last November, I wanted to explore how my world fits into Textile Design and the interests of TED researchers.

 

What I discovered were the many overlaps in methods and models between the two disciplines, but also the spaces in between.  In terms of making and materials there is still a difference in materials understanding; product design students are taught hard materials, fashion and textiles students are taught soft materials.  This is starting to change, for example in the ‘stitch’ option on the BA Textile Design course at Chelsea, students are putting all sorts of hard and soft materials together, and the MA Material Futures course at CSM continues to push at those traditional boundaries.

 

This intersection between hard and soft materials (and disciplines) appeared to me to be a bridge I could cross from my existing knowledge into the new (to me) world of Textiles.  At the same time, I was exploring experimental research methods that could be useful in TEDs current and future work.

 

Enter Vicky Cable, a forward-thinking upholsterer and an extraordinary person (more on that later!) who wanted to explore more sustainable methods in her work.  The ‘collaborative chairs’ idea was first suggested by Becky Earley whilst exploring ideas for the Circular Transitions conference exhibition, the seed was sewn, and so the ‘making…together’ project began.

 

The act of re-upholstery is in itself a good solution to the aging of a piece of furniture, repairing and updating the aesthetic.  Yet, as Vicky and I explored in our first meeting, it also exposes many unsustainable and worrying trends in the furniture industry, such as speed, cost and the use of inappropriate materials – all of which are currently being explored by TED researchers in relation to Textiles. In furniture, the contrast between the speeds of the materials is heightened, because hard materials are more durable and soft materials (padding as well as the fabric) degrade and wear relatively quickly.  The process of re-upholstery exposes this tension brilliantly and therefore offers a unique opportunity to understand not only how the materials used in re-upholstery could be reconsidered but also how the design and manufacture of upholstered furniture could be improved at the outset.

 

For me, sustainability is never just about materials, but also about people, so this project will also consider that angle, in terms of the designer’s activism and approach and the accessibility of more sustainable products and solutions.

TED’s Sustainable Practice Award 2016

At this year’s outstanding BA Textile Degree show at Chelsea College of Arts, TED awarded a Sustainable Practice Award with a focus on innovation and environmental consideration. It was given to students who demonstrated excellent practice and progressive thinking in sustainable textile design.  The TED team was truly impressed by the overall high standard of work this year, which was demonstrated through craftsmanship, highly developed concepts and original ideas. We are pleased to announce that the winners of TED’s Sustainable Practice Award 2016 are:

 

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Abigail Fletcher for combining design and technology in her interactive textile range. Her work is concerned with the future of textiles, by promoting the importance of new technologies and to encourage others to consider how these can be used to solve problems and transform how we live. In the collection, whether the audio becomes physical, or the physical becomes audio, music and technology constantly act in tandem to reveal the possibilities of tactile qualities for digital products.

 

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Archie Dickens for his minimal waste and unisex knitwear collection. By using the knitting machine as a ‘3D printer’ Archie produced highly customized pattern pieces, which minimised waste during the production stage. The garment shapes, determined by the size and shape of the wearer, allow for total flexibility. By incorporating ideas of supplication and ambiguity Archie is allowing a timeless inclusivity to evolve within the collection and therefore also adding an element of multifunction and longevity.

 

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Catherine Taylor for her fashion collection, which aims to embody digital users and develop a deeper connectivity between themselves and their virtually-extended self while purchasing garments online. The virtual garment animations are intended for display in online shops, to allow for consumers to interact and experience the clothing before purchasing. The process will develop into a website that allows the consumer to customize the product before purchase, whilst moving around the garment and adapting the clothing. This will increase consumer’s self-expression and will increase longevity of the garment.

TED PhD Researcher to Speak at Design + Research + Society

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TED PhD researcher Miriam Ribul has been selected to present her practice-based PhD research at the PhD By Design event at the Design + Research + Society (DRS) Conference this week. Miriam’s practice-based research is at the intersection of material science and design research. She is exploring how design can offer new insights for textiles when designers intervene with materials; not in their finished form, but in the science laboratory. The aim of this PhD research is to develop a design-led paradigm for textile manufacturing in the context of a 21st century circular economy.

 

Design + Research + Society (DRS) Conference runs on the 28th – 30th June at the University of Brighton. The event celebrates the Design Research Society in its 50th Anniversary year. In connection to the DRS conference, this event will explore what the future holds for design research and how this future is being enacted through practice-based PhD design projects right now. The main questions that the conference seek to explore are:

 

  • How do current PhDs in Design, frame and address the societal problems that face us?
  • In what ways are practice-based PhDs influencing ideas about Design and working as a designer?
  • How does current practice-based design research contribute to re-shaping our lives in more responsible, meaningful, and open ways?

Mindful Manufacturing Panel Discussion

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Last week TED’s Dr. Kate Goldsworthy spoke on the topic of ‘Emerging Technology and Sustainable Design & Manufacturing’ in the Mindful Manufacturing panel discussion hosted by the Lissome at The Hub Kings Cross. The debate focused on how we can enable manufacturing communities to foster sustainability practices in production. The event is part of the Threads – Rethinking Fashion series, which explores the topic of sustainability in the apparel industry and how to support innovations for a fair and sustainable supply chain. Other panelists included Rupa Ganguli from SPINNA Cycle, Katelyn Toth-Fejel from Hre Today Here Tomorrow and Daniel Harries from the London Cloth Company.

 

The series aims to guide the audience through a different stage of the supply chain each time – sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, and consumption – to expose the issues related to each of them, explore possible solutions and highlight best practices.

 

The first event From fibre to fabrics took place in the beginning of the year and focused on sustainable sourcing practices to procure raw materials. The panel explored how to empower farming communities by enforcing sustainable agricultural practices in the sourcing of raw materials. The final event in the series Conscious consumerism will take place on the 20 September. This session will explore how to generate a sustainable demand and empower consumers to shift toward a more conscious consumption model. Topics will include recycling and upcycling, the circular economy and in general practices that enable consumers to reduce their consumption impact.

 

The series has been created by a partnership between Impact Hub King’s Cross, Ashoka Changemakers and The Lissome.

TED PhD researcher to Speak at TRAID Event

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On Thursday next week TED PhD researcher Bridget Harvey will be speaking at the eighth #TRAIDtalks along with two other leading voices with unique viewpoints on repair in the community. She will be speaking on the landscape and politics of repair-making, from a material and social point of view.

 

The other speakers for the evening are Janet Gunter, co-founder of the Restart Project and blogger Jen Gale from My Make Do And Mend Life.  The three are part of a passionate network of active citizens making headway with the repair movement – sharing skills to benefit the community with an aim to tackle waste and counter over-consumption and working to inspire a repair revolution with wellbeing, skill-sharing, community and concern for the environment at the very root.  To revive the forgotten art of repairing things and improving relationships with ‘stuff’, this #TRAIDtalks will involve story-telling and sharing case studies to inspire positive change within communities.

 

TRAID is a fashion reuse charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away.  They turn clothes waste into funds and resources to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our textile use. You can support TRAID’s work by bringing a bag of your unwanted wearable clothes, shoes and accessories for reuse and reselling through their charity shops.

 

Spaces are limited so please book your  free ticket in advance to avoid disappointment. Suggested donation on the door: £5 to support Ziferblat, a shared community space in Old Street.

 

 

Date:
Thursday 23rd of June, 18.30-20.00

 

Location:
Ziferblat, First Floor
388 Old Street
London, EC1V 9LT

Chelsea College of Arts Undergraduate Summer Show 2016

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17 Jun – 25 Jun 2016

 

Catch the ‘up and coming’ artists and designers of tomorrow at the Chelsea College of Arts Undergraduate Summer Show, featuring work by graduating students from the following courses:

 

BA Fine Art

BA Graphic Design Communication

BA Interior & Spatial Design

FdA Interior Design

BA Textile Design

Graduate Diploma Fine Art

Graduate Diploma Interior Design

 

Private View: Friday 17th June 6pm – 9pm

 

Then open to general public:

 

Saturday 18th June – 11am – 5pm

Sunday 19th June – 11am – 5pm

Monday 20th June – 10am – 8pm

Tuesday 21st June – 10am – 8pm

Wednesday 22nd June – 10am – 8pm

Thursday 23rd June – 10am – 8pm

Friday 24th June – 10am – 8pm

Saturday 25th June – 11am – 5pm

 

Location:

Chelsea College of Arts

16 John Islip Street, London

SW1P 4JU

 

Sign up to our events mailing list to receive more information plus an invitation to the Private View.

Summer Institute at FIT

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Prof. Becky Earley will be a guest speaker at this year’s Summer Institute at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Becky will speak about TED’s work within the Mistra Future Fashion project, which explores the possibility of designing textiles for different and specific lifespans within the circular economy. The talk ‘Designing for Circular Textile Speeds’ (Goldsworthy & Earley, 2016) will be will be accompanied by a ‘Circular Speeds’ workshop. The Summer Institute is a four-day conference for educators and professionals working in fashion and fashion-related areas. The conference consists of morning speakers and panels, with a key note given by Simone Cipriani of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, followed by hands on workshops in the afternoon.

For the full programme visit Summer Institute.

 

Materials! at WS04 Material Connexion Milano

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We’ve come back from WS04 in Milan with an overwhelming feeling that this can work.

 

This is a significant moment for Trash-2-Cash for a number of reasons: we’re almost one year in, we’ve just completed our first official sharing of written knowledge between disciplines (through 4 internal reports), Cycle A: Design has ended and Cycle B: Application has begun, but most importantly we’re really starting to understand one another and our different contributions to the project.

 

Not everything ‘worked’ at this workshop.  The methodology team has achieved a lot but we are still learning, the ‘design-driven’ approach is very new to all of us.  It’s trial and error; we use our experience and knowledge to plan appropriately, make on-the-spot changes, and introduce experimental tools as well as tried and tested ones.

 

So, as a testament to what we’ve achieved and how a project like this can work (with so many partners, with different backgrounds, languages, disciplines and cultures), we’re going to share some of the ‘tops’ (the best bits) reported by partners in Milan…

 

  • We loved using the materials samples to understand where we’re heading
    The venue for this workshop – Material Connexion Milano HQ – really allowed us to touch, to feel and discuss material properties.  One partner remarked that the location had provided an amazing ‘ambience’ for the workshop (and we could even work outside in the sunshine!)

 

  • We now understand the project ‘State of the Art’
    This has been difficult to achieve in the first year as results were still emerging and partners were still getting to grips with how their work aligned with everyone else’s.  It was the right time to dedicate some significant attention to Work Package presentations.

 

  • We can understand more about our business by hearing what challenges lie ahead for the material through the whole supply chain
    An incredible benefit of this project are the huge range of companies representing most of the material lifecycle and the great level of expertise that can be shared at each workshop – everyone is learning, even the most experienced people.

 

  • The different ways that the methodology team creates opportunities for cross-disciplinary discussions is fantastic
    Each activity is carefully designed to enable particular discussions and analysis to take place.  We reflect on the strengths and weaknesses and adapt our approach accordingly.

 

  • Learning about the fibre production process
    Fibre science and material production is really starting to make sense to designers which in turn opens up doors to creativity and will be an invaluable resource later in the project.

 

  • We are now starting to focus, connecting the dots and the details are emerging – “the project starts now!”
    After much hard work at the ‘fuzzy end’ of the process, partners are starting to see some clarity in what we want to achieve and how we are going to achieve it.

 

  • Cherries!
    In the true sharing spirit of the project, our Slovenian partner brought a gift of cherries.

 

We also had tips (things to improve) which clustered around the need for the science partners to share specific results in smaller groups and in person, not only on Skype… something we will think seriously about in our preparations for WS05 in Copenhagen.       

Adhocism Project Exhibition: Chelsea BA Textile Design Stage 2 PV Wednesday 18th May 2016

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An exciting an impressive collection of work from BA Stage 2 students was on show at Millbank in mid May.

 

‘Adhocism’, the concluding project from the Stage 2 Textile Design Programme, was a demonstration of energy, enthusiasm and curiosity that characterizes the best kind of work from designers today. For several weeks, students were encouraged to explore their personal interests within a broad framework of ideas that connects contemporary world concerns – economic, social and environmental, connected by their interpretation of the concept of ‘Adhocism’.

 

The students declared an appetite for thinking in ambitious, radical ways when members of the TED research group held a ‘brainstorm workshop’ early in the project. Students articulated their developing ideas and confirmed the diverse and dynamic directions they were taking the TEN strategies, which represent new areas of creative concern for the textile designers of the future. The exciting thing is that there is still a further year of study for the students to confirm and develop a personal position in relation to their wide definition of the subject.

 

A competition for design solutions was set by the TED team, demonstrating: ambition; skill; aesthetic judgment and personal interpretation of sustainability. Any selection of the work best capturing these qualities proved very difficult, as radical new ideas were demonstrated in all disciplines and inspiring design challenges were identified at all stages of the lifecycle.

 

Finally, a selection was made of 4 ‘commended’ students: Yee Nan Fong, James Frost, Zoe Hartington and Brian Lamb, while the top prize was unanimously awarded to Hannah Louise Robinson. The prizes, presented by Prof. Rebecca Earley, included a paid ‘internship’, enabling the winning student to work as part of the TED group – on live, ongoing, project material, prior to final year BA study.

 

 

Commended Students:

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James Frost: for the way in which he considered the subject of trainers as a vehicle for systemic change in the fashion industry. Their meaning in social, economic and environmental terms was well researched and presented. The entrepreneurial spirit James demonstrated in setting up a website to effect positive social change was highly commended.

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Yee Man Fung: for her connection between her textile practice and her ethical concerns about killing animals for food. Yee’s use of humour and inventiveness in setting out a knitted banquet with a correspondingly challenging menu was thought provoking and skillful in equal measure. The collection was commended for offering an aesthetic yet activist approach to her firmly held beliefs.

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Brian Lamb: whose work featured the production of a professionally presented development of modular structures in a dynamic video format. The design of a diagrammatic range of furniture proposed products for distributed manufacture, DIY consumer involvement and a possible context for woven textiles.  Brian’s use of the software promotes a convincing, next generation of product communication for designers.

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Zoe Hartington: for her creation of a huge vision by applying her skills to the urban environment.  Zoe transformed the urban landscape into a canvas for the application of beautiful, projected images. Her large format photographs captured Thames river views as virtual renditions of Venetian paintings. The presentation of such ambitious and compelling images demonstrated the transformative qualities of design thinking to problems of urban degeneration.

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Winner – Hannah Louise Robinson: for her original and impressive interpretation of the pressing environmental and economic problems caused by waste material. Her thorough and detailed research was evidence of a complete commitment to exhaustive investigation of the issues. Hannah’s application of an intelligent series of design decisions regarding re-crafting techniques, new industrial connections in production and application to a final ‘product’ was impressive – particularly as the product was the changed nature of the fabric itself. It achieved new value for the material and pointed towards transformative future product development.

 

Congratulations to all students and staff for the impressive demonstration of ambitious ideas, deep thinking, humour and skill.

 

The TED team
27th May 2016