Imagining futures for the fashion industry

A few days after submitting the MA Fashion Futures dissertation, my mind is still editing it, and I have tell myself to stop – it’s done – on to the next step!

But I might never be done with this subject of how we as designers work and how it affects the future. And I will share some of my findings and thoughts about it in future posts, but for now, here’s the abstract of the writing:

“The fashion industry sits firmly anchored within our current growth economy that has negative impact on both environment and people. Measures are being taken to improve its sustainability, but these are currently insufficient for the task before us. Real improvements require taking a look at how we consume, as resource use is at the core of the problem, and as a consequence at how and what we design. At the centre of this is the work of the fashion designer and their neglected role in sustainability. Furthermore, the visions that guide us towards the future of fashion are mainly short-term trend forecasts, focusing on business goals. There is a need for alternatives that questions the role of the designer and the consumer.

In this research, future scenarios are explored as prompts for innovation and discussion about how designers work, taking into consideration their responsibilities and ability to generate change, simultaneously seeking knowledge about how to engage consumers positively and how to engage designers in this process. In short, exploring a human-centred design approach so that we start imagining alternative fashion experiences for the future, that allow both the designer and the consumer to flourish.

To do this, scenarios that explore attitudes towards consumer involvement in design and making, are built. The scenarios are then presented to consumers through an online survey and fashion designers in a workshop. In addition, the designers are presented with the results of the consumer survey and asked to imagine futures empathising with these consumers.

Findings suggest that Millennial women consumers are more open to involvement in design and making, than the designers are to them being involved. The designers face additional obstacles within the organisation of the industry. The research concludes in the development of a second, prototype workshop for designers, based on the results from the previous, exploring their role in the future and other ways of working.”


— Post imported from the SLOWMATERIALISM research blog. —

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