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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Sustainability at WSA

Published: 11 March 2016
The Sustainability Forum
WSA Sustainability Forum 2016

Sustainability, recycling and ethical and ecological production are topics which are often in the news, and are growing in importance in our modern society. This was why WSA was so pleased to welcome a range of exciting guest speakers from the fashion industry to its first Sustainability Forum held on the 10th March 2016.

Hosted by the School of Art’s Delia Crowe and Reem Alasadi, the day featured fashion designers and editors who all share a passion for fashion which is more ecologically sound, and the diverse range of talks demonstrated just how important and widespread this topic has become.

As Delia Crowe , Senior Teaching Fellow and Pathway Leader for the MA Fashion Design - commented, ‘Of course, sustainability is not a new issue – from the consumer boom of the post war period, through the ‘greed is good’ attitudes of the 1980s to a growing awareness of the issue, there is an increasing need for sustainable practices. Designers can play a vital role in shaping the future. Built-in-obsolescence is the opposite of good design.’

The day opened with a short introduction from Delia, who hosted the day, and garments from Reem Alasadi, Associate Professor in Fashion Practice, and MA Fashion Design students were on display throughout the event.

 

Speakers included:

Linda Mackie, Senior Teaching Fellow in Fashion Marketing & Management at WSA, who focussed on considerations of Sustainable and Ethical practice within students’ work.

Mei Hui Liu, of Victim Fashion St, addressed the questions which arise around sustainability when working in the industry.

Melanie Plank talked about ‘The Consumer Lifecycle’, with particular focus on denim brands, using her skills as a trend forecaster to analyse the marketing campaigns such brands use.

Clio Padovani, a researcher in textiles and an education specialist in the Faculty of Business, Law and Art, at the University of Southampton, examined Teixidors, a socially sustainable cooperative and how sustainability interacts with communities.

 

The morning was brought to a conclusion with Alison Jane Reid - journalist and entrepreneur - interviewing Lucy Tammam of Atelier Tammam London, about her journey from fashion undergraduate to ethical fashion trailblazer

After lunch, networking and a chance to examine the MA Interim Exhibition, the talks continued with:

 

Charty Durrant, a writer specializing in Cultural Psychology, an ecological activist and ethical fashion consultant, addressing the many hurdles faced by those attempting to work in a more sustainable way.

Kate Hills, the founder and CEO of Make it British, talking about sustainability in the UK.

Mallory Giardino, who has spent more than 10 years working in the fashion industry, looking at the positive business case for sustainability.

Jonathan Faiers, Reader in Fashion Theory at WSA, looking at how theories of design can aid sustainability in practice.

Caryn Franklin, former Fashion Editor and Co-editor of i-D Magazine, and BBC broadcaster, rounded out the day by looking at how the individual consumer, wishing to be guided by their principles rather than the edicts of the brands, can make their contribution.

 

The day was rounded off with an evening event, giving staff and students the opportunity to continue the conversation with the speakers.

The Forum was a great success, and looks set to pave the way for more such events.

A full report on the day will be available soon.

 

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