Transforming the Potential of Clothing


Good ideas happen everywhere and often involve creative acts with the things we have around us, like our clothes. These creative actions and ideas are rarely acknowledged and never make it onto catwalks or business agendas, yet we think they have potential to help solve some of the problems we face as a global community.

Dr Kate Fletcher, Reader at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion has developed Local Wisdom, a project that has gathered some of these actions and ideas at two different locations in the UK – Totnes in Devon, and Bollington in Cheshire.

Local Wisdom seeks to recognise and honour sustainability activities in fashion that exist at the level of the user. Many of these acts challenge contemporary fashion norms and typically need little money or materials to make them happen, instead they tap into an abundance of experience, ingenuity and freethinking. Here an individual’s interests meet with those of society and nature and create conditions for a more satisfying use of resources. This project captures and celebrates some of this ‘local wisdom’, giving it a platform to flourish and inspire.

Sustainability can emerge from a wealth of simple interactions. In fashion it has potential to flow not only from the design and production of clothes, but also from the choices we all make on a daily basis: how we select, wear, care for and connect with our garments. As such, opportunities to transform the sustainability potential of clothes are widely distributed throughout the population and not just reserved for designers, production managers or the fashion cognoscenti. They happen with each new insight, use and with every service of needle and thread in homes in far-flung corners of every nation; often far away from catwalks or business agendas.

Read more about Local Wisdom and visit Dr Kate Fletcher’s website