Are you a textile or fashion designer? Have you heard about how unsustainable the industry is, but don’t know how to design lower impact products? Wherever you are in the world, whether you are an individual designer/maker selling directly to your customers, or a designer in a team or large department, this site is for you.
Textile Toolbox is TED’s web platform project for MISTRA Future Fashion. The research consortium aims to create systemic and profitable change within the fashion industry through ‘interconnected design thinking and processes for sustainable textiles and fashion’. This open website is a platform for designers and experts to engage with new design ideas.
To date this site has been used to help build the discourse around TED’s ‘The TEN’ – a set of sustainable design strategies for innovative sustainability thinking and action. This platform functions as a research and public engagement tool where we explore The TEN as a driver new design thinking for the Swedish fashion industry.
The first phase of the site (Dec 2012 – Nov 2014) relied on the contribution of a group of experts from different disciplines, chosen by TED. Each section on the site is lead by one or more experts, who contributed with key case studies and interviews with leading industry stakeholders. Together we considered how to lessen impacts, improve function, and make connections. The focus is on inspirational projects and also on the challenges the industry faces in shifting towards systemic industry change. We challenged aesthetics, process, production and lifecycle issues around products.
The posts on the site and design briefs generated through research workshops and exchanges formed the basis of the online exhibition – which we launched for the second phase of the site in November 2014. The exhibition proposes how The TEN strategies can translate technical, scientific and behaviour research insights into new design concepts. The resulting products demonstrate the potential for progressing a sustainable fashion system with new materials, processes, applications, consumer interfaces 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.
The collaborations with scientists, academics and professionals have lead to toolkits for action, instructions for making, resources for learning, and making films to sit back and watch. Additional training tools and education models will be available from the site as free downloads in the final report in June 2015. We invite everyone to submit their comments, reviews, suggestions and ideas to the site. Please follow us and send us feedback through Twitter and get ongoing news updates by signing up to our Mailing List.
With thanks for the support and wide network of collaborators and inspiring researchers of the MISTRA Future Fashion consortium and the MISTRA Future Fashion Board; the support of the team and researchers at TFRC; the RMA team at University of the Arts London; Helena Söderberg and Jenny Althoff for their support in the delivery of the Electives at Konstfack University of the Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm; CCW research for funding and support; Alex Madjitey and Betty Borthwick at Chelsea College of Arts for photography; Ana Diaz at Sokfok Studio for the films; the textile technicians at Chelsea College of Arts and Central Saint Martins; H&M; the Sustainable Fashion Academy; Copenhagen Business School; Phillip Dolman at Studio DB; the team at Polimekanos; the students in our Elective programs and everyone that contributed to the project through our social media platforms.
Exhibition co-curated by Professor Becky Earley and Dr. Kate Goldsworthy, with Assistant Curator Miriam Ribul. New work by all the curators and the TED researchers – Professor Kay Politowicz, Melanie Bowles, Kathy Round, Isabel Dodd, Clara Vuletich, Bridget Harvey, Emmeline Child and Josefin Landalv.
TED researchers have collaborated with other experts on the works:
Hjalmar Granberg (Innventia); Sandy MacLennan (East Central Studios);
David Telfer; Dr Hanna de la Motte (SP); TWI (Cambridge) and Redress (Hong Kong).
Research, website and exhibition funded by Mistra Future Fashion www.mistrafuturefashion.com, COST www.cost.eu, Textile Futures Research Centre (TFRC) www.tfrc.org.uk, Chelsea College of Arts www.arts.ac.uk/chelsea/, UAL research www.arts.ac.uk/research/