Better late than never! Here comes a short report from the Sustainable & Innovative Fashion Seminar in Finland in early October 2013. The seminar can be summarized as a buffet of various techniques and practices that are available today to promote more sustainable ways of fashion production and consumption worldwide. The two-day seminar included insightful presentations by a number of speakers, including the renowned Dr. Kate Fletcher (researcher, consultant and designer) and Dilys Williams (director and designer), both from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion in London. Other speakers at the seminar were Dr. Kirsi Niinimäki (Aalto University, Finland), Dr. Cosette Armstrong (Oklahoma State University, USA), and Dr. Anika Kozlowski (Ryerson University, Canada). Apart from the presentations, an open exhibition was held for the seminar participants outside of the seminar room (see photos below) at Aalto University in Helsinki.
Examples of more sustainable techniques and practices, as presented at the seminar, were: zero-waste pattern cutting practices; participatory design through workshops (enhancing person-product attachment); knit on demand (at PUB, Stockholm); functional clothing as well as traditional design and production techniques (“Making clothes that matter”); experimentation with alternative material textures (by Alexandra Gaca); redesign of imported secondhand clothes (through the project “Life of a dress”); and various expressions of traditional craftsmanship in the Baltic region (as collected by the “Baltic Fashion project”).
The social dimension of an international seminar can never be overappreciated. Below, a photo of three talented and creative designers who particpated at the seminar. Last but not least, a photo of the designer Anu Corin, who with impressive imagination, crafting skills and a sustainability message (of recycling) has created a dress and fine jacket out of nothing but receipts collected from her own previous purchases.