‘My aim is to disconnect the old associations from the current developments so that sustainability can be considered as an integral part of fashion not only by the experts, but also a wider audience. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all.’
The essence of my essay
‘The concept I want to research this year has to do with the combination of creativity, economy and sustainability in fashion. I have noticed in the last years, that in sustainable fashion the main focus is always sustainability and functionality. Further, I haven’t heard of a great fashion brand at the level of Dior, Hussein Chalayan or Chanel, which is sustainable. I am wondering why we have this gab and which direction we are moving towards.’
Design-systems of the timeframe 1900-2011
Modern design in the early twentieth century searched for a language of form that was plastic or mutable. From 1960’s focus shifted to the symbolic value of the product, meaning-making and in the mid-1990’s the focus shifted again to products effects on the user. We have moved from form to content to context and now we are moving to service. We are moving to the concept of Turntoo, which started at 11.11.11. The designers will not design a product, but the service it is providing. The consumer will no longer buy for example a washing machine, but clean clothes.
Why are we changing design systems? Why are we now so interested in sustainability? Why did the idea of TurnToo develop? I also started thinking about the question when. Since when did we start thinking about sustainability? When do we switch to an other design system?
I tried to find a system that still survived through time, cultures and changes of design systems and this brought me to the system of marriage. A successful marriage is a sustainable (long term) change by choice, which is seen as an interesting journey with a lot of different images, positive and negative and has beautiful results/ future (sharing of time with someone). Marriage is a sustainably designed system.
How can I use the system of marriage to create a sustainably designed design system?
I want to concentrate on the system of design because according to several communication reports on sustainability I have read, designers are crucial to make sustainable fashion work by ensuring it is desirable, functional and stylish.
Literature list and field research
- ‘De planeet is niet meer te redden’, Gerard Reijn, De Volkskrant 24.09.2011
- ‘Fair Trade is een westers speeltje’, Evelien Groenink, De Volkskrant 23.09.2011
- Final Textiles Manufacturing, www.ifc.org, 04.2007
- Eco-effective fashion design, Refinity, master essay by Fioen van Balgooi 2009
- ‘Good looking and responsible’, Alice Rausthorn, Design Books, International Herald Tribune, 08.08.2011
- ‘De aarde heeft dorst’, Marianna Heselmans, NRC Weekend, 24.09.2011
- FashionFutures 2025, www.forumforthefuture.org, 02.2010
- Fashioning Sustainability, www.forumforthefuture.org, 03.2007
- TRAID – wearing poverty out, www.traid.org.uk, 2010
- Ecolabelling Steps towards Sustainability, www.nordic-ecolabel.org, 2001
- Blue Angel Certificate, www.blauer-engel.de, 2011
- The EU Flower, www.eco-forum.dk, 2011
- Global Organic Textile Standard, version 3.0, www.global-standard.org, 01.03.2011
- Towards Relational Design, Critical studies
- The Psychology of Clothes, J.C. Flugel, 1930
- Interview with the Textiles Policy Manager of Fair Trade, Rossitza Kreuger, 10.2011
- Visit to AmChamb day, combining economy and sustainability, 10.2011
- Event Doen Materiaalprijs, price for the best solution towards sustainability and explanation of the TurnToo Concept by Thomas Rau
- Nacht van Duurzaamheid, 10.11.2011
- Work at Awearness Fair Fashion, Platform for sustainable fashion in the Netherlands.
- Work at DutchSpirit, developer of sustainable solutions in fashion.