Sustainability & innovation

TED was at the Sustainable Brands Conference a few weeks ago, listening to the discussions and ‘thought leadership’ ideas from sustainability and brand experts.

Highlights included the presentation from Ogilvie Earth, a sustainable branding consultancy that used animations and videos to communicate their vision for how sustainability can be a powerful driver for innovation.

Another branding consultancy, Dragon Rouge, has developed a series of short films based on the new business models they propose that brands will have to adopt and adapt to,  in the next 15 to 20 years. In their future vision, Primark will offer subscription-based clothing that you hire and that is recycled into a closed loop system once worn out and returned. Here at TED we have been talking about rent or service-type models for fashion for a while now, so it is amusing and inspiring to see businesses start to take up the ideas.

The most inspiring speaker of the day was John Marshall Roberts, a behavioural psychologist and expert at the communication of sustainability – what he called ‘persuasion tools for sustainability leadership’. He introduced the concept of ‘world view thinking’ – the way an individual thinks that informs their perceiving, knowing, thinking, doing, and decision-making. Once we understand what someone’s world-view is, we can use this to overcome cynicism and inspire others to act in positive ways. Truly inspirational!

3rd International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference

BA Course Director Caryn Simonson is organising a conference in association with the International Journal Of Motorcycle Studies (IJMS), from 4th – 7th of July 2013 to be held here at Chelsea College of Art & Design. The event will also include a curated exhibition of textiles, film and photography. It is a collaboration between Simonson (CCAD) & Eryl Price-Davies, from Imperial College London.

Simonson’s paper, FashionableBikers’ And Biker Fashion – Exploring the Fascination for the Biker Image and its Relationship with Luxury Brands, was presented at this year’s IJMS conference, University Of Colorado Springs, USA.

At the 2010 conference, Simonson’s paper was Chintz My Ride which contextualised her photographic portrait works of fabric-customised motorcycles with their perceived ‘owners’. For more information on the call for papers 2013 please click here.

Manifesto for Creative Innovation

Print Room at Konstfack

Weave Room at Konstfack

TED has recently launched a new elective program at Konstfack in Stockholm, Sweden, encouraging students to create their own Manifesto for Creative Innovation following a five-week course designed by TED. This new course proposal is shaped by the outcomes of 14 sessions on sustainable design led by TED with Chelsea MA Textile Design between October 2011 and April 2012.

The team will deliver this course between February and March 2013 to an inter-disciplinary group of students and the outcomes might be documented in an exhibition or in a report. The educational purpose of the course is to offer the students design-led and practice-based approaches for sustainability that they can incorporate and build upon throughout their studies.

Guest Professors: Professor Kay Politowicz & Becky Earley

TFRC publication launch

Last week TFRC launched its first publication Material Futures with an event at Central Saint Martins organised by the Textile Futures Research Centre and Creative Consultancy FranklinTill. The new TFRC website and the publication show the breadth of research at TFRC with its three platforms: Sustainable Strategy with TFRC Director and TED Reader Becky Earley as lead researcher, Science and Technology with Deputy Director Carole Collet, and Dr Jenny Tillotson leading the Wellbeing platform.

TED researchers were featured in the publication with the latest achievements from the MISTRA Future Fashion research program and more projects from 2012. Copies of the publication will be soon available to buy from the TFRC shop at £17. The website will also offer the opportunity to purchase the TED’s TEN cards as a tool for companies and individuals to apply sustainable thinking.

New BA Textile Design course website

BA Textile Design course director Caryn Simonson and senior lecturer Melanie Bowles have set up a new website for the BA Textile Design course at Chelsea College of Art & Design. Acting as a newsletter for the course’s projects, collaborations and external events, the new website houses a blog for news on exhibitions, alumni and also the degree shows and stage two shows,  plus links to other online resources. For a full view on the BA Textile Design Course please follow this link.

Consumption and the Philosophy of Denim


The Sociology Department and British Journal of Sociology are organising a public lecture on 30th of October for ‘Consumption and the Philosophy of Denim’. Professor Daniel Miller will contribute to wider issues in social science and performance exploring questions on denim a simple question – why, in most countries, do half of the population wear denim blue jeans on any given day? Daniel Miller is the author of Blue Jeans and of Global Denim (with S Woodward).

For info e-mail or call 020 7955 6043. #LSEdenim

PhD blog for Future Fashion project

PhD student Clara Vuletich has set up a blog and shared platform for all the PhD students on the MISTRA Future Fashion project, and young researchers studying related topics around sustainable fashion.

Called Future Fashion Research, the space will allow students researching lifecycle assessments, textile recycling, new fibres, consumer behaviour issues, new business models and sustainable design strategies to communicate their ongoing findings and hopefully begin a wider dialogue around systemic change for the fashion system.

The students and researchers are from Universities in Denmark, Sweden and the UK.

Sustainability is ‘the ultimate design brief’

The Guardian’s Sustainable Business Blog launched with a series of entries on design and sustainability with Chris Sherwin as one of the first contributors. Focusing on the designer’s responsibility for producing sustainable products, the article argues how the issue is being addressed since 1972 with Victor Papanek’s book ‘Design for the Real World’ however it lacks on inspiring sustainable leadership. A key example for change is the recently launched Higg Index from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition which is free to download from their website. Chris created a roadmap for sustainable design to point at key areas where design can have an impact on sustainability. Read the full article here.