, the textile collective made up of five Chelsea graduates, including TED member Clara Vuletich, has moved in to their temporary project space
for December and January. The group will be selling some of their hand made pieces and also running workshops in January.
Clara will also be running a workshop for MA students there on the new ways that textile designers are retailing and marketing their work.
The space is in Brixton Market and is part of a scheme to offer rent-free spaces to creative enterprises to regenerate the market.
Clothes made from recycled cotton paper, exquisite design that need less laundering, hand crafted luxurious hemp satin pieces and hand-knitted pieces that are fastened onto basic wardrobe staples to create a completely adjustable wardrobe to cherish. These are just some of the winning ideas from this year’s Fashioning the Future Awards, organised by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion.
Several Chelsea/TED graduates were shortlisted in the competition including Lauren Palmer (MA 2009) a finalist in the ‘Water – the Right for all Citizens’ award and Julia Roebuck (BA 2008), a finalist in the ‘Role of Materials in a Sustainable Fashion Industry’ award.
TED was the host to the largest ethical fabric trade fair seen in London, organised by the Ethical Fashion Forum
(EFF). The EFF brought together over thirty suppliers of sustainable and ethical textiles from around the world including Zameen Cotton
from India, Made By
, a training and enterprise organisation in east London.The event took place in the Triangle Gallery at Chelsea and in a marquee on the Parade Ground.
The event was attended by over two hundred designers, students and large retailers and brands including Marks & Spencer, Ted Baker and Topshop.
Traditionally, designers and students have found it very difficult to source ethical fabrics, often because suppliers require large orders or because many of the suppliers are based in countries where communication and an understanding of designers’ needs, is difficult.
TED was delighted to be able to offer the space to link these suppliers with designers and students and it seems that some productive and worthwhile dialogue was begun which will lead to some new future working partnerships.
The event was covered by Treehugger
and several other ethical fashion blogs/websites.
The audio from the TED members day out on a barge, ‘Conversations on (a) Slow Craft’ as mentioned in a previous post, is available for listening now online.
It was recorded by artist Russell Martin and documents several TED members discussion about the idea of ‘slow’ in their practice as textile designers.
Becky Earley has been up in York presenting at the Japanese Sashiko textiles conference which coincides with a major exhibition of sashiko textiles at York Art Gallery. Becky presented her Top 100 upcycled polyester shirt project, which is currently on show at the Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution exhibition in Birmingham.
The word ‘sashiko’ means small stitches and the curator of the exhibition Michele Walker, had studied English quilting techniques and saw the similarities – both techniques had arisen out of necessity and had involved women who were creating new garments from old clothes and textiles, mostly cotton workwear. As Michele Walker explains, “Sashiko evolved from a need
to conserve and repair garments at a time when cloth was a precious commodity”.
Becky’s pioneering work re-using polyester blouses is set in a completely different historical and cultural context to Japanese sashiko, however the same motivations apply – how to reuse textile waste and to conserve resources. However, Becky has taken on one of the hardest challenges for a designer in the current context – how to re-use the excessive amounts of polysters which exist in the UK, as over 50% of the world’s fibre production is petroleum based.
Becky’s Top 100 work has also been made into a ‘digital book’ which is currently showing alongside the pieces in Birmingham, and the book will be available online shortly.
Clara Vuletich writes: I have been in India for a week now, working with TED colleague Lorna Bircham. We have come to Gujurat to spend a few days at a block print company which has been founded by an Indian textile designer who, in collaboration with her product designer husband, has created a sustainable print factory. Even though they use synthetic dyes (and they have some interesting arguments against natural dyes), all the waste water from the print and dye processes is sent through a water filtration system and re-used.
The skill and craftsmanship of the wood block carvers and printers here is astonishing. The skills have been handed down through their families for generations.
We are going to be working with this company on a project to create a series of textile designs which combine traditional block-printing with the latest digital print technology. The project is part of Creative Connexions
, which aims to promote the benefits of using the UK’s design talent in India and China.
More on this project will follow on the blog.