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Filippa K and Mistra Future Fashion start ‘circular fashion’ research

Stockholm-based sustainable fashion label Filippa K is teaming up with Mistra Future Fashion to undertake a two-year project to understand the lifecycle of a product and to make shoppers more proactive about ‘circular fashion’.

The ‘Circular Design Speeds’ initiative is being led by Professor Rebecca Earley and Dr. Kate Goldsworthy of University of the Arts London, and will include researching, developing and testing of new strategic design for 100 percent circular fashion garments in a real fashion industry context, focusing on speed of use and maximising fabric value retention in products.

The aim of the initiative is to help consumers become more sustainable about fashion, with the concept of a “multi-speed wardrobe” with a mix of short-life and long-life garments, new and second hand, rented or borrowed, which is “realistic, practical, and sustainable”, according to Mistra Future Fashion, a cross-disciplinary research programme.

“We want to be able to enjoy fashion and update our wardrobes in a conscious way,” said Elin Larsson, sustainability director Filippa K. “That is what the project ‘Circular Design Speeds’ is about. We will develop circular garments where all environmental impacts and aspects during a full life cycle are taken into account and optimised based on a pre-determined life length.”

‘Circular Design Speeds’ will be an industry-embedded pilot study, exploring the impact of different speeds of fashion with the aim to generate commercial garments that will consider and optimise the life of fabric, production processes and business models through a holistic design process. This may be through extending the life of an existing garment by design interventions over time, or through the development of hyper-recyclable short-life products, enabling efficient recovery of virgin fabrics over multiple lifetimes.

In order to benefit the broader industry, key insights from the project will be continuously shared in unique ‘Value to Others’ seminars, which will bridge ‘circular design research’ to the company context with the aim of helping to create a deeper understanding for others in the industry, said organisers. There will be three seminars delivered through 2017 and in the spring of 2018.

Professor Rebecca Earley, said: “As academic researchers we see this industry-focused project essential to developing new knowledge and understanding in the area of ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ fashion textiles.

“Clothes we often hope to be slow end up being fast, and even vice versa – yet current materials are all essentially slow; they take time, water, energy, chemicals and valuable resources to make. We want to work with a brand to fully explore whether designing for product recovery and speed can help us make fashion textiles to match our different paces of life.”

Image: via Mistra Future Fashion website