How Rebecca Earley encourages engagement in sustainable fashion
Earley says an emphasis on recycling fabrics and creating new materials is currently driving change in the fashion industry
As an expert in sustainable fashion and the circular economy (where secondary materials are recycled back into the manufacturing process), Rebecca Early believes that the fashion industry’s interest in creating new materials from used clothing is growing fast.
Earley asks her PhD design students at the University of Arts in London to consider a set of questions before they create new designs.
These include: What will change for the better? Where
have these materials come from? How have they been processed and manufactured
into fabric? Whose hands were a part of this process and how were those people
treated? When the user washes, dries, irons or repairs the product, what
impacts are created? When the user no longer wants the product, will it become
redundant or will someone else use it?
Sustainable-design students are then encouraged to design
new fabrics and textiles to minimise waste, water and chemical impact; to
increase recyclability, to reduce the need to consume and to support and value
workers’ rights and fair trade materials.