The Fashion Ecologies Project explores the relationships and interactions between garments, people and place.
Many of our ideas about clothing are dictated by far away fashion capitals or in the anonymous boardrooms of global brands. But we want to find out what happens if you leave behind these assumptions and look at what fashion actions and relationships actually happen in a place. In effect, a real-world view of 'local' fashion.
The Fashion Ecologies project is working to map the flows, lives and loves of garments in one corner of Macclesfield, a town typical in northern England. Our starting points are clothing factories, shops, community centres, homes and launderettes of the town and we are looking at materials, garments, skills, networks, habits and improvised actions within both the formal and informal economy.
Our aim is to understand more about fashion provision and expression, use and reuse in one tightly bounded location and in so doing find out more about opportunities for improving the fashion system as a whole. In a time when we usually try to understand things by taking them apart, looking at component parts in isolation, Fashion Ecologies explores clothing in context - in real places and lives - keeping things and our insights about them radically together.
Fashion Ecologies is a research project led by Kate Fletcher Professor of Sustainability, Design, Fashion at University of the Arts London. Lizzie Harrison, working as research assistant, is drawing on her long experience of working with communities and fashion production.
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Fashion Ecologies is project of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London, and it is part of a work package of the KRUS project, led in Norway by SIFO and generously funded by BIONÆR.