The Uniform Project

Bridget Harvey wrote: Wearing one dress every day for a year is not a new idea (see brown dress project) but The Uniform Project has taken it to a new level.

In order to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation one New Yorker is wearing an identical dress for 365 days, making a statement against fast fashion and trends while also showing a commitment to dressing individually without having to own lots of different garments, shopping for and discarding items all the time.

She has 7 identical dresses (one for each day of the week) and donated, thrifted or pre-owned accessories to adorn herself with. The dress itself is a well thought out design. It is reversable and can be worn open or buttoned, the material has been chosen for its seasonal versatility and it is a fairly classic design enabling the dressing up or down for all occasions.

Although washing the dress after each wear is not the most eco-friendly idea the whole concept of the uniform project is a very interesting comment on consumerism and individuality from a sustainable perspective.


Grassroots Day

TED Research assistant Clara Vuletich and PhD student Jen Ballie, recently participated in a site-specific project called Grassroots, which was an event for all MA students at Chelsea, from fine art, graphics and textiles, exploring the theme of 'treading lightly' to coincide with the RSA's Arts & Ecology week of the same name in June.

Based at the wonderful Crystal Palace site in South London, the project organisers (including David Cross from Camberwell) hoped that spending several days in the park and camping overnight, would encourage participants to use the site as an impetus to think about sustainability in relation to art and design practice. The participants were to make on-site work which would be visited by everyone at the end of the two days.

The TED members met the rest of the group half way through the first day and we were taken on a walk around the park with a herbalist who specialised in making teas and herbal tonics using local English herbs and plants.

The TED team then delivered a workshop on 'your favourite garment', asking participants to reflect on a piece of clothing they were wearing and why they like it and if and how they repair/mend it.


Slow Down Fashion ?

The degree shows are all finished now here at Chelsea and it has been an outstanding year for textiles. There was a wide variety of work, including several students who are exploring sustainability issues. It is not compulsory that students incorporate sustainability into their work however they are introduced to eco textile ideas from their first year, and this continues through to many of them writing their final year dissertations on the topic as well as exploring it on their studio work.

We will be featuring a few of these graduates on the blog in the next few weeks.

First up is Ania Szyszkiewicz, who produced a collection of simple dress shapes using second hand fabrics that she has quilted into squares, creating pixellated images of faces and the slogan 'say no'.

Ania really engaged with fashion and sustainability issues and also wrote her final dissertation on the topic. It was titled Slow Down Fashion – Utopia or the Way to Reconnect with the Environment and Ourselves? and explores the negative impact of fast-fashion on the environment and society. She analyses human needs in order to determine the reasons for why customers buy, keep and discard their clothes and also looks at possible solutions such as the slow design movement and case studies an Internet community of bloggers who incorporate the slow ideologies into their activities.


Extended Life Textile Techniques Publications

Workshop 7, July 2009.

The Slow Textiles Group is a new textiles platform set up by TED member, Emma Neuberg. It aims to aid in the dissemination of textile methodologies that are sustaining as well as sustainable. It is open to all.

The group's ethos is based upon a Population Approach that elucidates the relationship between sustainable systems and societal well-being. Their forthcoming workshops are now listed on the SLOW TEXTILES website and publication of each workshop with its unique dissemination template of Practical, Symbolic, Sustainable and Immaterial Content will be downloadable soon - FREE to members.