The Fashion Professorship aims to rethink the cracks in the fashion system and the role that fashion plays – and could potentially play – in relation to urgent social, cultural, environmental and political developments in contemporary society. We envision an alternative and more engaged future of fashion in which we do more justice to fashion’s human dimension. Through research, design and critical thinking, we analyse and develop alternative approaches, systems, vocabularies and strategies. In doing so, we aim to activate the power of fashion to reimagine future bodies, future materials and future makers to contribute to resilient futures and inclusive societies.
Fashion designers have the unique opportunity to change the way products and materials are made, used and disposed of. As carriers of change, they are able to positively contribute to environmental and social impacts, re-utilising products and materials that will be part of the future of closed-loop systems. In order to do so, it is crucial these creative makers understand the complete life-cycle of the textiles and products that are being utilised in practice. Designing extends beyond the product; it involves people and society. If designers are more knowledgeable on the design and production processes, they can better carry out influence that will affect the future of fashion and consumption. This is a responsibility that is starting be increasingly felt by fashion brands in general, however the added value of recycling as a business case still remains to be considered, in which reduction of impacts is felt across the entire supply chain of a product. Recycling should be seen as part of a bigger calling, deriving inspiration from nature which is based on ecosystems and cycles. Herein, designing is done for the benefit and good of people and the planet, narrowing the link between the makers of the clothes and the people who wear them. This instills a method of thinking in systems. The purpose of the Design Guideline of Recycling is based on paving the way for innovative and environmentally conscious products that reflect a philosophical and practical approach to recycling and sustainability in general.
How a designer acts in a networked community enables design for recycling methods to be easier and more efficient. It is imperative to create a culture of networking, sharing, borrowing and exchanging. This is about building close relationships to those who fuel one’s design process as well as consume it. Therefore, designers should act as facilitators of sustainable enterprises in their own communities which will ultimately contribute to social innovation. Design activism is important because it validates designers not only in the creative sector, but gives them a voice and something to be passionate about.