Several TED members were at the Slow Textiles Conference at Stroud last weekend. Emma Neuberg, Clara Vuletich and Becky Earley all gave presentations on their interpretation of Slow Textiles.

Emma Neuberg's presentation was first and was titled 'Why Slow, Why Now?'. She talked of her personal motivations for setting up the Slow Textiles Group (STG) which included her frustration at trying to find teaching/research work in universities and colleges that are prepared to consider a broader notion of design that includes the psychological, cultural, and environmental aspects. She then went on to explain the cultural and material reasons for setting up the group including the fact that by 2015, new legislation has meant that no textiles will be allowed to go into landfill in the UK. By teaching what she calls 'Extended Life Textile Techniques', people will gain new skills to use in their everyday lives and possibly contribute to a reduction in landfill.

She also highlighted the fact that there is a large, growing demographic of people (mainly women) over 50 years of age, who already have traditional textile skills and who are keen to connect with others. Emma's suggestion was that groups like the STG could be spaces for people to connect and potentially contribute to the re-use/upcycling of all the wasted textiles being generated.

Clara Vuletich discussed her emerging design practice as a 'slow design practitioner' and how there are three elements to her practice - producing hand printed wallpapers/textiles, researching and writing about sustainable textile design and working collaboratively with textile collective bricolage. Crucial to all of this design activity is reflection, and Clara emphasised how important this is to any type of 'slow' design activity.

Becky Earley then presented her Top 100 project, a slow fashion project over 10 years. Although she has presented this project to many audiences before, this time it was intertwined with her own personal life journey and how events in her personal life have been reflected and integrated into her design practice.

This was a major theme of the day - for any designer wanting to integrate sustainability and 'slow' principles into their design practice, that old saying is true - 'the personal is political'. How you live your life both outside of work and within it, carries the same values and qualities of environmental respect, balance, responsibility, openness and reflection.

For more information on 'Slow Design,' see Slowlab, Alistair Fuad-Luke's website SlowDesign or Emma Neuberg's Slow textiles Group.