Elastic Tools Project

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Elastic Tools is a project by Rebecca Earley, assisted by Bridget Harvey, for the CCW Graduate School during Spring 2015. It is part of the Culture of Resilience Project (CoR), a two years UAL-wide initiative, the goal of which is to build a “multiple vision” on the cultural side of resilience by putting together a set of narratives, values and ideas that are coherent in that they are all based on resilient systems, but in many other aspects they are very diverse. A multiplicity of images that, like the stones of a mosaic, may generate a larger one: a mobile, dynamic, colourful vision of a resilient, sustainable civilization.

The Elastic Tools Project aims to create new ideas, tools and techniques to support textile designers and makers in the way that they teach textiles to the next generation. This week we have recruited two MA textile design students to work on the first stage of the project – building their own personal tools and techniques.

Follow the progress on the project site here.

The Department of Repair

Department of Repair Bridget Harvey

As part of her PhD research, Bridget Harvey has co-curated The Department of Repair at the Camberwell Space. The Department of Repair explores (re)making through fixing, repairing and mending. The project reframes the theme of ‘repair’, exploring its identities and its potential as an environmentally/socially engaged practice. The project aims to create space for broader interpretations of repairing, fixing and/or mending practice, exploring categories such as repair narratives, agents, materials, and methods/systems.

The project begins with an exhibition which showcases approaches to mending, guides and tools of repair. For the first three weeks, visiting (re)makers, (re)designers and repairers, who demonstrate and teach repair and re-making skills will run drop-in workshops. Outcomes from the workshops will be then added to the existing set of exhibits to form a larger exhibition.  A two-part publication will complement the project with writings by and about the repairers and exhibits involved in the project.
With a fully zero waste aim for the project and accompanying publication, The Department of Repair will engage with the act/notion of repair more through reuse of materials, as a form of recycling with less environmental impact. All furniture for the exhibition is being made from reclaimed materials and will be distributed for further use or dismantled back into materials after the exhibition. The publication, which documents the entire process of the project is being hand printed onto reclaimed paper, and will be produced on demand in small batches to avoid large waste quantities at the end of the project
Project contributors include: Roger Arquer (designer), Carl Clerkin (designer), Fixperts (an open knowledge sharing platform for fixing), Hendzel and Hunt (furniture designer/maker using reclaimed and sustainable materials), Tom of Holland (darning), Harry Owen (leather work), Restart Project (electrical repairs), Second Sitters (upholstery), Hans Stofer (artist), Yuri Suzuki (sound art & design), David Cross (artist), Michael Marriott (designer), Chris Cawkwell, (socially-engaged art practice), Tim Mitchell (photographer/artist/educator).

Exhibition and workshops: Monday 12 January 2015 – Friday 30 January 2015
Exhibition continues: Monday 2 February 2015 – Friday 20 February 2015
Private View: 3 February 2015, 5.30 – 8pm 
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm

The full workshop program is available hereAll workshops will take place at Camberwell Space as part of the exhibition.
For further information please contact camberwellspace@camberwell.arts.ac.uk 


MISTRA Future Fashion projects 400

Our Textile Toolbox platform aims to connect leading sustainable design thinkers and makers in this open call for work using interconnected design thinking and processes for sustainable textiles and fashion.

We are inviting a global audience of designers to visit the site, sign up and submit design projects for our Open Gallery space and to become part of our Open Network. We invite each submission to use and select from the TED strategies, and to apply a layered approach to the strategies to describe the work. We will select the ten projects that will demonstrate the strongest links to the strategies – innovative systemic and material approaches for textile design that fuse different disciplines in one design proposal. We want the prototypes to provoke debate, and conversations to ripple out – leading to real change.

Please download the TEXTILE TOOLBOX Open Call template and submit it to tfrc@tfrc.org.uk by 12th of January to be considered for our Open Gallery showcase and take our survey to tell us more about yourself. In addition to the online feature, we will publish the selected projects in our industry report for our MISTRA Future Fashion research in May 2015.

TED events and research update – Professor Becky Earley

CCW Professor Becky Earley and the Textile Environment Design (TED) team have had a busy autumn term. As well as her work with TED, Earley is Director of the Textile Futures Research Centre based at Central Saint Martins. ‘It’s been a work whirlwind autumn for the TED team at Chelsea, as we launched our Mistra Future Fashion online exhibition with a 24-hour pop up show in the Banqueting Hall at Chelsea on 13th November,’ said Earley (to view the Textile Toolbox work and take part in a survey, visit www.textiletoolbox.com). ‘The 10 new “provotypes” (prototypes that provoke debate) suggest new materials, processes, services, systems and business models for the future sustainability of the Swedish fashion industry.

textile toolbox event

Guests at the Pop Up exhibition for www.textiletoolbox.com looking at the Becky Earley’s sketchbook for the Shanghai Shirt exhibit (photo: Mischa Haller)

The day after the show came down I flew to Stockholm to continue with the Mistra research. Studying ancient making and repair tools in the Vasa Museum (which houses the incredible warship ship that sank on its inaugural voyage in 1628), I noted ways in which garments and accessories were made and repaired. The next task in Stockholm was to deliver a workshop for 17 fashion companies, showing them how to use the Higg Index and TED’s The TEN to redesign best-selling products in their range. The best result this year was a 41% improvement in environmental impact – not bad for a one-day workshop!

SFA November 2014

Participants at the SFA Mistra workshop, November 18th 2014

The next morning it was off to Nottingham Trent University to be a panellist for a debate titled “Is Technology Killing Hand-made Crafts?”; part of a series of events marking 170 years of the art school. Grant Gibson, editor of the Crafts Council’s magazine, chaired the debate in the Newton building. Panelists, including Tavs Jørgensen, ceramic potter and research fellow at the Autonomatic Research Group, University College Falmouth, and Christopher Breward, Professor of Cultural History at the University of Edinburgh, Principal of Edinburgh College of Art and Vice Principal of the University (Creative Arts), questioned whether there is still a place for teaching traditional craft in art and design higher education as preparation for work in today and tomorrow’s creative industries.

Early the following morning I was Glasgow bound to present the Mistra Future Fashion work at a Zero Waste Scotland event, working with the Design in Action team from Dundee University and recent CCW PhD graduate Dr Jen Ballie. I showcased the physical textile samples and garments from the exhibition and talked the audience through the online exhibition. The audience was particularly interested in the work of CCW BA Textiles graduate and TED Junior Researcher Josefin Landalv. The proposed network of 10,000 Swedish cabin weavers using discarded clothing to save it from incineration resonated with the Scottish industry stakeholders and their wool industry.

Zero Waste scotland 2014

Delegates at Zero Waste Scotland examining the Mistra Future Fashion work

Finally, it was on to Huddersfield University and a keynote talk at the Transition Textiles conference, where I once again showed the Mistra work, but this time focussing on the journey the TED team went on from material innovation, to systems and social considerations, to the sense of the self. Titled “The ‘i’ in the Textile Toolbox Team” I presented my own work and that of CCW PhD researcher Clara Vuletich. We have both been considering insights from the field of neuroscience and the effect that meditation has on the brain, and on the textile designer working in the field of sustainability. Ehrenfeld (2008)* suggests that in order to move towards sustainability we have to become our “whole selves”, and it seemed fitting to end this busy research dissemination period with a chance to pause and reflect on the values we are instilling in our students and the real benefits of our research on our colleagues and ultimately ourselves.’

The final presentation of the term will be this week at the House of Lords on Wednesday evening, where I will be showing the Mistra project to the All Parliamentary Working Group for Design and Innovation.

*Ehrenfeld, J. (2008) Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming our Consumer Culture, Yale University Press: UK

Practice-based sustainable design strategies


Faculti aims to communicate the latest research news, publications and information in a way that is accessible and available to the wider public.  Film is their medium of choice, capturing research at the cutting edge of innovation by delivering insights from academics and professionals who are leaders in their fields. Featured on their website is Prof. Rebecca Earley who shares the research imperative that inspired the Responsible Living exhibition. Curated by TED for the VF Corporation, the exhibition presented prototypes that explore future sustainability for VF Corporation’s 25+ clothing brands, using The TEN as a framework.

The exhibits demonstrate a holistic approach to sustainable textiles and fashion design which include concepts for long life denim, multifunctional packaging to reduce waste, repair strategies, social innovation in the supply chain, fast fashion, new technologies and materials for manufacturing.

The film is available to watch here.

PechaKucha research presentations

Miriam Ribul & Hanna de la Motte- Regenerated cellulose fibres 400

Anne Marr, Miriam Ribul and Emmeline Child will present their research in a symposium as part of the ‘Transition: Re-thinking Textiles and Surfaces’ conference at the University of Huddersfield. The PechaKucha style presentations will be part of a session on day two of the conference. The conference will be presenting 50 papers from over 11 countries and Professor Becky Earley will be giving a keynote on day one.

The conference proposes to explore the future of textiles and surfaces within different industries and contexts. The aim is to examine current and future developments in the field asking: how might we re-think textiles and surfaces in a climate of transition?

A full website with conference proceedings, hotel and venue information and registration is available here.

Debate: New technologies are killing hand-made craft

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Professor Becky Earley is a panelist on New technologies are killing hand-made crafta debate which asks if there is still a place for teaching traditional craft in art and design higher education as preparation for employment in today’s creative industries.

Hosted by Nottingham Trent University, the debate on Wednesday 19th of November will focus on the notion of craft as the art of hand-making that traditionally questioned and influenced design and manufacturing through inherent understanding of the properties and potential of materials. As part of the culture of consumerism, the challenges of 2D digital developments have been embraced and 3D now seeks the skills of hand-forming to progress. Some see this as riding roughshod over traditional craftsmanship. What is the impact of new technologies on quality and value and where does this leave the traditional craft maker?

Panel members include:

Christopher Breward, Principal Edinburgh College of Art; Vice-Principal Creative Industries and Performing Arts, formerly Head of Research Victoria and Albert Museum

Rebecca Earley, Textile Designer and Academic; Professor in Sustainable Textiles and Fashion Design Chelsea College of Arts; Director Textile Futures Research Centre UAL

Grant Gibson (Chair), Craft, Design and Architecture Writer; Editor Crafts Magazine

Tavs Jørgensen, Potter and 3D ceramic designer; Research Fellow, Autonomatic Research Group University College Falmouth; Visiting Tutor Royal College of Art

TEXTILE TOOLBOX launch event and Pop-Up exhibition


Please join us for the launch of the TEXTILE TOOLBOX online exhibition with a 24- hour Pop-Up event at Chelsea College of Arts. The TEXTILE TOOLBOX exhibition is a showcase of ten propositional design concepts inspired by Mistra research into the sustainability of the fashion and textile industry.

Thursday 13 November 2014, 6–8pm
Talks, drinks and smörgåsbord

Friday 14 November 2014, 10am–5pm
View the exhibition

Venue and RSVP

Banqueting Hall
Chelsea College of Arts and Design
London SW1P 4RJ

Please RSVP to tfrc@tfrc.org.uk by 2 November to attend the evening launch event (no need to RSVP to view the exhibition on the Friday).

Pop-Up Exhibition

We are exhibiting a project showcase about the ‘Textile Toolbox’ online exhibition in the Banqueting Hall at Chelsea, from 6pm on the 13th to 3pm on the 14th of November 2014.

The exhibition platform functions as a research and public engagement tool formed around TED’s ‘The TEN’ – design strategies for innovative sustainability thinking and action. The exhibition proposes how these strategies can translate technical and scientific research breakthroughs into design concepts. The new products demonstrate the potential for progressing a sustainable fashion system with new materials, processes, applications and business models. The exhibits are a starting point for discussion – provocations, or ‘provotypes’ – showing us how design tools can create entirely new visions for the future of the industry. This unique online platform offers a global audience a glimpse of a sustainable future fashion industry. An industry that ultimately gives the consumer pleasure whilst also giving the planet and its inhabitants absolute consideration.

The format of the Pop-Up display will offer the opportunity for the exhibition to travel, and to be set up in other partner institutions and organisations. Get in touch if you would like to tour the show.


The final design pieces use a strategic ‘TEN’ approach to create beautiful fashions for style fans to savour, with aesthetics connecting and responding to the scientific research of the MISTRA Future Fashion consortium. Each of the ten exhibits have applied TED’s ‘layered thinking’ approach and connect more than one of The TEN strategies in the design brief and outcome. For the showcase, we will demonstrate how each card ‘hand’ uses a ‘lead card’ or strategy along with other strategies to create a unique design brief for future fashion.

1 Seamsdress, by Dr Kate Goldsworthy
2 A.S.A.P (Paper Cloth), by Prof Kay Politowicz, Sandy MacLennan  (East Central), Dr Kate Goldsworthy, David Telfer (COS) and Dr Hjalmar Granberg (Innventia)
3 Shanghai Shirt by Prof. Becky Earley and Isabel Dodd
4 Inner/Outer Jacket by Clara Vuletich
5 DeNAture, by Miriam Ribul in collaboration with Hanna de la Motte (SP)
6 ReDressing Activism, by Prof. Becky Earley, Emmeline Child and Bridget Harvey
7 Smörgåsbord, by Melanie Bowles and Kathy Round
8 Sweaver, by Josefin Tissingh
9 Fast Refashion, by Prof. Becky Earley
10 A Jumper to Lend, A Jumper to Mend, by Bridget Harvey


The collaborations with scientists, academics and professionals, have lead to toolkits for action, instructions for making, resources for learning, and films to sit back and watch. International training tools and education models will be available from the site as a free download in the final report in June 2015.

Open Call

We are inviting a global audience of designers to visit the site, sign up and submit design projects for our Open Gallery space. We invite each submission to use the TED strategies, and to apply a layered approach of the strategies to describe the work. We will select the ten projects that will demonstrate the strongest links to the strategies – innovative systemic and material approaches for textile design that fuse different disciplines in one design proposal. We want the prototypes to provoke debate, and conversations to ripple out – leading to real change.


We invite reviewers to our exhibition. Please contact tfrc@tfrc.org.uk to get in touch.

For more information

Please contact Angela Hartley, TFRC Manager, tfrc@tfrc.org.uk
To follow the project’s progress and send feedback use Twitter,
@textiletoolbox, Facebook group, or the project website.


The TEN animations are now live

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TED’s The TEN were co-developed by Professors Becky Earley and Kay Politowicz, and the team at TED between 2006 – 2010. They are sustainable strategies which aim to help designers reduce the environmental impact of textile design, production, use and disposal. They are not a check-list, but rather they are a framework for creative thinking and action. As ideas emerge, The TEN can be used to develop layers of strategic innovation – a chance to redesign and improve, or simply to communicate concepts and products more clearly.

The TEN emerged from a practice-based and collaborative approach over many years; and are perhaps best used when supporting teams in the design thinking process behind the creation of new prototypes which test potential solutions for a more sustainable industry. Recent action research projects have begun to evolve The TEN from prompts for small to medium size design companies into scalable concepts for design teams to adopt in large corporations in the UK, USA (VF Corporation) and Sweden (at H&M). This development enables the TED research team to constantly evolve and adapt The TEN – tailoring them to suit speeds, needs, contexts and circumstances.

In order to enable this action research in a more effective and timely manner – as is the wont in industry – the TEN have been made into a series of short animated films, to help participants grasp the essential considerations for textile and fashion designers to embrace in their day-to-day practice. The TED team have been writing scripts over the last year, Ana Diaz from SokFok Studio was the animator, and the project was funded by CLTAD, TFRC and Chelsea research. See our The TEN page to watch the animations and read more about each strategy.

Melanie Bowles at Digital Textile Conference

Melanie Bowles TED

As digital textiles continue to push the boundaries of innovation within wide format print production, the need for information is in greater demand. To meet this interest FESPA delivered another of its successful Digital Textile Conferences in Milan on the 2nd October 2014. Melanie Bowles spoke at the conference following the recent completion of her second publication “Print, Make, Wear – Creative projects for digital textile design“, Laurence King 2015.

This one day conference provided an international line-up of digital textile printing experts, ready to share a wealth of knowledge, experience and insight into the latest innovative products, trends, case studies and trade secrets.

The conference offered an opportunity to gain exclusive insight into the future direction of DTP and gain practical tips on embedding innovation in your business, while networking and connecting with global leaders of the print industry.

Topics included: 

Market updates

Industry strategies

Transfer Vs direct printing

Digital fashion

Sportwear and apparel

Serving interior markets

Environmental impacts

Digital textile inks

Case studies from leading printers and end-users