Roundtable Discussion, EFS Paris

Last week's roundtable discussion proved to be an interesting experience for TED member Becky Earley. Eleven designers / experts were on the platform at the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris, for two hours, discussing new textile technologies and their potential for creating more sustainable products.

The discussion began with a presentation by designer Florence Bost who gave a succinct overview of the fields of study and activity - a kind of history of smart textiles – which briefly covered the 1940s to the present day. The other speakers, each talking about their work in turn for five minutes, addressed:

Interaction design and smart clothing (Francesca Rosella, Cute Circuit)

Upcycling textiles and technologies (Becky Earley, TED)

LED / wind sensitive textiles (Stijn Ossevort)

Detailing menswear to prolong life (Doris Hartwich)

How luxury brands are building a new materials resource to help them with product design innovation (Alexandre Cappelli, speaking about Louis Vuitton)

PUMA’s better shoebox concept – a fabric bag – and the lifecycle analysis project (Karsten Bleymehl, Material ConneXion)

The current state of fibre development and impacts through manufacture and usage (Michael Kininmonth, Lenzing Fibers)

Carbon detecting textiles and the The Climate (CO2) Dress (Hanne Louise Johannesen, Diffus)

Fashion aromachology and our future well being (Dr Jenny Tillotson)

Artistic material explorations (Tzuri Gueta)

Questions from the floor ranged from concerns over the impacts from battery powered smart textiles at the end of life stage, to whether smart textiles were being used for ‘green washing’ by big brands.

It was a short but sweet session, and a real pleasure to hear from designers and experts who are passionate about the future of textiles. To end the roundtable Dr Isa Hofmann (chair) asked the experts to offer one word to the audience, a guiding principle if you like, to inspire progress and innovation. The words were:

Education… Reduce Waste… Dematerialise… Avoidance… Detailing… Accidental… Appreciation… Lifestyle… Well Being… Desireability...

Image: TED’s summary slide from the Worn Again / Ever & Again project, 2010