ESI clothes swish event

Irene Griffin (left) from Falmouth University and Dr Clare Saunders (right) from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute with exhibits from the Fashion Footprints travelling exhibition at the launch of their new research collaboration.

Exhibition and ‘swish’ event mark new sustainable fashion collaboration

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and Falmouth University have celebrated their new sustainable fashion collaboration with a ‘stylish’ event.

The Universities are embarking on a collaborative project exploring issues around sustainable fashion and textiles. To mark the start of activities the ESI hosted a ‘swishing’ clothes swap event and a private view of Fashion Footprints – an innovative touring exhibition.  

Fashion Footprints is an exhibition of the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW) by Dr Kate Fletcher, which looks at the underlying environmental problems created by the fashion and textiles industry. It also explores the possible solutions enabling us, as consumers, to make more informed decisions about the clothing we choose to wear.  

Those who attended the event enjoyed the exhibition as well as the opportunity to swap some unwanted clothes for a new wardrobe without spending a single penny or creating a fashion carbon footprint!  

The collaboration between Falmouth University’s Irene Griffin, (Textile Design, and MA Art and Environment) and the University of Exeter’s Dr Clare Saunders (Environmental Politics) will explore the promotion of sustainable, local and ethical fashion and textile practice.  

Speaking of the event Irene Griffin said: “The exhibition aims to inform consumers about the carbon journey a garment makes from soil to retail outlet. This information will provide people with a greater insight of the amount of energy and resources it takes to produce clothes and hopefully inspire them to make more considered choices about what, where and how much they buy in the future.”

Outlining the work the two researchers plan to undertake as part of their collaboration, Dr Clare Saunders said: “The exhibition and swish mark the start of an important interdisciplinary research program exploring how we might begin to break down the barriers that prevent individuals adopting sustainable clothing choices.

“We hope to raise awareness of the current environmental consequences of fashion, but we are aware that knowledge does not translate straightforwardly into behaviour change. Therefore, at a later date, we will also experiment with other ways of influencing people, such as engaging them in the process of making and mending clothes.”

Fashion Footprints will be exhibited in the ESI until Friday 18 November (free entry, 09:00 -17:00, Monday to Friday).

The ESI is working with businesses and enterprises across all sectors of the economy in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and beyond to translate research and expertise into innovative business practices, products and services in order to respond to the challenges of environmental change. It has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme (£22.9M) and the South West Regional Development Agency (£6.6M), with significant support from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Date: 14 October 2013

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