Upcycling textiles by Rebecca Earley
imagination care

Will you soon be leasing all your clothes?

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.


Will you soon be leasing all your clothes?

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