The IMPACT lecture series is one of the highlights of the TED teaching calender here at Chelsea. It covers the environmental impacts throughout the lifecycle of a textile product - from raw materials, yarn/fibre and fabric production through to the use phase and to the end of life issues.
The lectures always include a 'designer case study' - a designer or practitioner who presents their work to demonstrate how they are grappling with these issues.

For the beginning of the lifecycle, we invited Karen Spurgin and Emma D'arcy to present their work. Karen and Emma have formed a collective called AO Textiles and they are working to create sustainable textiles for the couture fashion market. Karen worked with Deborah Millner on the Aveda project back in 2006, in which they created a collection of beautiful dresses which each explored an aspect of sustainability. Karen has 20 years of experience as an embroidery designer for high-end fashion clients and she was moved to begin working in a more considerate way as there was no couture fabrics available for them to work with.

AO are currently collaborating with Gainsborough, a traditional silk weave company, on a fabric made from natural dyes and waste yarn and hope to develop more design collaborations and research projects in the future.