Reshaping Fashion Norms

High-street ‘fast fashion’, which promotes fast-moving trends and disposable garments, is known to have serious environmental and social implications. Yet fashion is so highly embedded in matters of self-identity that relatively few consumers see beyond its glamorous side.
This project, a collaboration between Clare Saunders, Sue Bamford and Irene Griffin, looked to ask: how might fashion norms be re-shaped so as to reduce the environmental and social impacts of fashion?
The work, which ran from September 2013 to May 2014, had two strands: firstly, in October 2013, a symposium (Applying Cornish Wisdom) focused on how local and ethical textile businesses can overcome barriers to sustainable garment production in a globalised world. Secondly, in 2014, the researchers conducted an experiment to discover the extent to which involving individuals in making garments alters their attitudes and behaviours towards fashion. Additional workshops were also run in January 2015.
Creative outputs from the symposium, and garments designed and made by participants, were exhibited in the ESI Creative Studio.
This was also the venue, in July and August 2015, for a summer show featuring work-in-progress from three of the Creative Exchange Programme's continuing collaborations. These included an element from 'Re-shaping Fashion Norms' and featured some items of upcycled clothing produced in a series of public sewing workshops.