TED PhD researcher to Speak at TRAID Event


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.



Thursday 23rd of June, 18.30-20.00


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

Blue Jumper

Blue Jumper_400ppi

TED PhD researcher Bridget Harvey is exhibiting her Blue Jumper (2012) in an exhibition of “thoughtfully mended textiles” called …by a thread… at Gawthorpe Hall, until 19th June 2016.

The exhibition aims to explore ideas around mending, after a year of building renovation and repair at the hall itself. From the curator:

“While the stonework within the Hall was being mended – quite invisibly – we became interested in repair which did the opposite. We started looking for examples of mending which were visible and actually made a feature of wear and tear. We discovered that with textile items, repair can be storytelling, creative and commemorative. It can add something extra and bring new meaning and emotion to an object. It can tell us more about people, history, memories and lives.”

The artefacts exhibited in …by a thread… all display thoughtful and careful repairs, and include Karen Suzuki’s rescued teddy, Jacy Wall’s Japanase boro jacket, David Worsley’s darned jeans, Angela Maddock’s repaired Wrangler jacket and Jenni Steele’s 1930s nurse’s apron, along with Claire Wellesley-Smith’s Japanese boro bloomers and Coreen Cottam’s family quilt. Each comes with a story written by the lender, explaining why the process and act of repair is significant to them.

About Blue Jumper

‘I consider Blue Jumper, a heavily darned navy blue jumper, to be a performative artwork that I wear and work on. I found it in pristine condition, in a charity shop off Old Street, London, now Blue Jumper is heavily darned yet still worn. As environmentalist I am anti-waste, and I wear only second-hand wool. When moths ate Blue Jumper, I continued wearing it.

This garment can be considered disobedient, and it certainly has a disobedient wearer. My stitched intervention displays my politics: my slogan not shouted but darned. Blue Jumper is personal, political, active and rebellious.

I find myself resilient against pressure to buy new: I can, I will, I am, through choice and necessity, wearing, repairing and re-wearing. In celebration of resistance and autonomy, like Plutarch’s Ship of Theseus, I will keep repairing Blue Jumper until all is repair, and beyond.’

The Peoples Climate March


TED PhD researcher Bridget Harvey was at the Peoples Climate March, London, on Sunday 28th November.  She was marching as part of a Mending Bloc with TRAID and The Restart Project, carrying her Mend More Jumper.  An estimated 40,000 people joined the London march, marking the start of the climate talks in Paris.

‪The Restart Project is a London-based social enterprise that encourages and empowers people to use their electronics longer, by sharing repair and maintenance skills.  TRAID turn clothes waste into funds and resources to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our clothes, taking a circular and sustainable approach to the problems of clothes waste tackling disposal, production and consumption by increasing textile reuse and funding projects to improve working conditions in the clothing industry.

‪Last week was #secondhandfirst which Bridget began by helping facilitate a textile mending workshop at The Big Fix, organised by Hackney Fixers and The Restart Project.  On Thursday night she helped at another textile repair workshop, this time a community event at Fabrications, Broadway Market.

‪The Mend More Jumper is part of her practice based AHRC PhD project positing repair as a pathway to sustainability and resilience.



Black Hack Chat today

A key element for TED researchers is to facilitate workshops that can inspire consumers and designers to engage with materials through closed-loop thinking, and to share their ideas with fellow participants. With this at the heart of today’s workshop Professor Becky Earley will run the Black Hack Chat session – via Skype – at the Crafting the Future Conference in Gothenburg, with collaborators Jen Ballie and Otto von Busch hosting the session in the space. The event will be filmed and the team will document the discourse and the making with the participants. Watch this space for updates on the outcomes of the session and follow the Twitter feed #blackhackchat.

Design Activist in Copenhagen

During our visit to Copenhagen a few weeks ago we had the pleasure to meet Vigga Svensson, founder/owner of children wear company Katvig. The range is made using sustainable materials such as organic cotton and recycled polyester and Vigga has even invented her own type of ‘recycled’ cotton she calls R.O.C. (Recycled Organic Cotton). When the bales of organic cotton plants are spun into yarn at the factory, Katvig picks up the cotton noil that are left over and turns them into this Recycled Organic Cotton.

Vigga is a vocal advocate of sustainable fashion and environmental issues and she has developed five principles for her company – a sustainable action plan that she has shared with the Danish Government and the EU Parliament.

The principles cover the health risks of dyes and chemicals in clothing; political and economic support for companies who employ sustainable production methods; labelling and full information and transparency over companies which claim to be sustainable, and to raise awareness amongst consumers for what sustainability and certified products stand for.

Design Activism conference, Spain

From Ana Lucia Diaz, MA Student 2011:

Thanks to the Laura Ashley Scholarship I had the honor to attend the Design Activism and Social Change Conference in Barcelona in September. The conference provided a space to debate emergent themes in design activism: politics and design, sustainability and design, the role of agency, reflection vs action, peak oil and the capacity of design to address social and environmental problems within capitalism and current forms of democracy.

Speakers included Jody Boenhert from Eco Labs, Karen Yair on craft and activism, and Noel Douglas, one of the most controversial speakers with a paper called ‘Signs of Revolt – The City, Revolution and the Sign in the 21st Century’.

Check out the official blog here with reflections on the event by design thinker Guy Julier and all the papers are available to download here.

Forward and Up

Becky Earley and Kate Goldsworthy will be in conversation next Wednesday 5th June at 5: 15pm, in the Lecture Theatre at Chelsea, as part of the CCW Graduate Encounters series.

The presentation will trace the eleven years of conversations and collaborations – Becky and Kate worked on research projects together before Kate’s PhD project began in 2005 – and will look at the way in which their ideas evolved along parallel paths, both approaching the recycling of textiles from different creative perspectives.

Kate’s PhD Material Re-creation: forward recycling of synthetic waste for the luxury textile market , uses laser technology to create new textile surface treatments and applications, enabling a monomaterial approach to design for reuse of textiles.

Becky’s Top 100 project work explores the reuse of polyester clothing, and has created new theory for upcycling textiles. Each set of shirts has been subject to experiments which explore ecodesign theory in practice. Technically the project has demonstrated upcycling polyester through the use of: digital overprinting; digital dye sublimation overprinting; heat photogram overprinting; laser etching and welding (with Kate); sonic cutting and slitting; detachability and multifunction; low launder; locality; emotional durability, and most recently co-creation.

In 2008 Becky and Kate created the Twice Upcycled shirts together (pictured) – taking recycled shirts from Becky’s Top 100 project and giving them another new life. The presentation will focus on this work, exploring the way in which the collaboration inspired the researchers to go on to pursue new independent work.

Creative Transition launches

Last week saw the launch of a small research project we are involved in called Creative Transition that brings together staff and students across CCW (Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon) who are interested in notions of sustainability and resilience in art and design education.

The event was called ‘The Keys are Under the Mat’, and it was a day of presentations and discussions between staff and post-graduate students from across the three colleges. The first speaker Ian was from Transition Heathrow, an activist group based in the communities around the proposed runway expansion at Heathrow. Ian described the activity that the Transition group have been involved in and introduced us to the ideas and tools that have been developed by the Transition Towns network.

Andy Merritt from the Farm Shop then spoke about the urban food growing project set up in an empty shop in Dalston, by collective Something & Sons. They are exploring hydroponics, aquaponics and soil based growing and they are a great example of a collective approach to trying out new ways to sustainable urban living.

We have spent some time debating the terms sustainability and resilience amongst the group. The term resilience has been widely used lately, from designers to economists to politicians, and there are many definitions and insights about what it means. Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition Town movements has written an article here on resilience thinking and there is even a Resilience Centre based in Stockholm, Sweden, that has a wonderful explanation of resilience with some insightful videos here. (Coincidentally, this Centre is also funded by MISTRA who are funding our new Future Fashion research project).

The Creative Transition project will be continuing the conversation we have already begun across the colleges with some workshops and more events planned in the next 6 months.