Fashion & Sustainability Forum at WSA this Thursday 10th March


10.00 Delia Crowe – Introduction to the forum

10.15 Linda Mackie – ‘Sustainable Studying’

Considerations of Sustainable and Ethical practice within students’ work, across the full scope of the topic, and seeing Ethical practice as a core element, not an added benefit. Designing resourcefully requires skill, innovation and above all a strong understanding of the cycle, the implications of this in the development of their designs will be explored.

10.45 Mei Hui Liu – ‘Working in a Sustainable Fashion’

Questions about sustainability when working in the industry. Including:

>>> How did sustainable fashion brands come to be included as part of London Fashion Week in past years?

>>> How is work different for a sustainable fashion designer?

>>> Does being sustainable affect the size of your market?

>>> What advantages and disadvantages are there to being a sustainable brand?

11.30 Melanie Plank – ‘The Consumer Lifecycle’

With the increasing influence of lifecycle analysis in our understanding of the environmental impact of a garment, the consumer experience is the next frontier for sustainability. How denim brands are using clever marketing campaigns and innovative business practices to win consumers over to the cause, and change consumer behavior will be examined.

12.15 Clio Padovani – ‘Sustainability in the Community’

Teixidors is a socially sustainable cooperative. This presentation will look at why they were formed, their USP, and how they have carved out a devoted following, of consumers and in their community. Their sustainability is in creating a product that is made by marginalized communities and sustains the community through work and integration. W:

12.45 Alison Jane Reid interviewing Lucy Tammam

Journalist Alison Jane, will be in conversation with Made in Britain, sustainable couturier, Lucy Tammam, of Atelier Tammam London, about her journey from fashion undergraduate to ethical fashion trailblazer, making luxury fashion more sustainable, her journey, her challenges, her successes and her inspirations.

13.30 Lunch and networking – Westside Building, downstairs foyer.

14.15 Charty Durrant – The Truth about Sustainability

Sustainability in fashion is a huge and important issue, but one that all too often gets side-tracked by small details and individual agendas. This talk will outline the many large problems faced by those attempting to bring sustainability into the world of fashion, addressing some serious and potentially shocking issues. By tackling them head on, however, the hope is to bring hope and inspiration for the possibilities of a more sustainable future.

15.00 Kate Hills – ‘An insight into truly British brands and the importance of a Made in Britain label’

British-made brands are having a renaissance and now more and more fashion labels are choosing to manufacture in the UK. Find out why this is, and what the many benefits are to a brand of choosing to manufacture locally.

15.45 Mallory Giardino – ‘The Business Case for Sustainability in Fashion’ 

Fashion businesses can actually be more profitable by engaging with ethics and sustainability. This presentation will point out the financial opportunities that come with improving social and environmental standards, as well as three types of business models that are currently being used to achieve commercial success alongside positive impact.

16.30 Jonathan Faiers – ‘Fashion Thinking: Sustainable Systems of Thought’

The methodology of picking and choosing from the sweep of textile and dress history has become a common practice, and fragmented histories have been fundamental to a variety of design practices and sociocultural readings of fashion and textiles. Walter Benjamin’s figure of the rag-picker, which provided him with a model for literary montage, can be usefully employed to consider the relationship between fashion and sustainability and seems to inspire much contemporary fashion and textile design with its assemblages of styles and references from different eras and cultures. This presentation will draw upon Benjamin, alongside other thinkers from Nietzsche to Bourriaud, to explore the sustainability of Fashion Thinking itself and how this is translated practically into fashion design.

17.15 Caryn Franklin – ‘Fashion and Emotional Sustainability’

In the early 80s, fashion editor of i-D Magazine, Caryn Franklin experienced clothing and fashion culture as a liberating space and a tool to investigate personal identity and celebration of uniqueness. The high-street, with its multiple-choice, value-shopping experience or the concept of brand building did not exist. And neither did the Internet. So while the democratisation of both retailing and the publishing and broadcasting sectors is seen as progress, the proliferation of the fashion normative body: tall, thin, white and young together with a speeding up of trends and product life begs the question of who benefits from such progress. Has the status of the individual shrunk while the power of the brand has expanded? Can new generation creatives become part of the solution not the problem by successfully bringing in their own values for emotionally sustainable practice and what will that look like?

10.00 Delia Crowe – Conclusion to the forum

18.00 – 20.00 Drinks reception & networking Westside Building, downstairs foyer

18.30 – 20.00 Film showing ‘The True Cost’ Westside Lecture Theatre


Study Trip to New York Highlights

Last week WSA Fashion and Textiles staff took a group to students to New York for a study trip of studio visits, fabric and trimming shopping and museums. And an unexpected snow storm! Here are some highlights…

Marc Jacobs tour

Head of Womenswear at Marc Jacobs shows students round the New York studio seeing the process from research to designing and making to show room. Students were lucky enough to see the current collection in progress for the upcoming runway show at New York fashion week.

Marc Jacobs Studio Marc Jacobs talk

Fabric and trimming shopping in the Garment District. Such amazing array of colours and unusual fabrics.

Fabric Ribbons

Picasso Sculptures at the MoMa.


African Kente fabric at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.


Frank Stella at the impressive new Whitney Museum building.

Frank Stella

The Empire State Building post-blizzard.





Sophie Steller visits WSA for industry project

Sophie Steller with WSA Students

Second year Knitwear for Fashion and Woven Textile Design students have been working on an industry project for Knitwear Design Studio Sophie Steller. The students developed designs for a past/modern collection, using drawings from museum collections as a starting point for their textile swatches. After the project review with Sophie Steller, 8 students were selected for interviews.

From Knit:
Anna Bateman
Amy Fuller
Isabel Worth
Hannah Brabon
Alice Bracken

From Weave:
Danielle Gill
Rebecca Lickley
Rebecca Moore

Sophie will be offering placements to successful interviewees.

WSA Woven Textiles goes to ‘Making it in Textiles’ 2015

Three final year Woven Textiles students, Leah Ashton, Hannah Mueller and Barbara Ahenkorah travelled to Bradford with tutor Jane Landau last week to take part in ‘Making it in Textiles’.


The Campaign for Wool, The Clothworkers’ Company, The Drapers’ Company and The Weavers’ Company have collaborated for a second year to provide a free, two-day conference in Bradford for final-year textile degree students, to forge stronger links between educational institutions and the UK textile manufacturing industry.

“We believe that textile students need more practical guidance about how the industry works. The conference will allow industry experts to provide insight into different roles within the industry, and to set out the requirements for employment after graduation. Students will also gain practical knowledge of a working mill through local mill trips.”