The “sustainability crisis is a behavioural issue, and not one simply of technology, production and volume” (Hirscher 24).
After oil, the fashion industry has next biggest environmental impact but it is the area in which we care the least about sustainability. This research proposal explores how communication design might help the problem of fashion waste. The majority of sustainable fashion solutions are created for those already actively trying to improve. This can be discouraging for the main purchasers of fast fashion. For this group creating sustainable behaviours feels too difficult.
How might communication design make sustainable fashion accessible to provoke personal reflection and facilitate mindful consumption?
A conversation with my flatmate sparked an important development. Talking about the items in our wardrobe that we couldn’t imagine getting rid of, we realised that every item had a story. They reminded us of people, of significant moments, places or feelings. Sharing the stories was fun, interesting and talking about them increased the connection I felt with the items. I interviewed people about their favourite items of clothing. The process of being interviewed about their item prompted reflection and revealed stories that were almost forgotten.
My design outcome will tell the stories of people favourite clothing items. Telling stories will reveal the forgotten memories and hidden meanings of the items we love and use often. This will prompt my audience to reflect on their current wardrobes, including the items they love and wear and the ones they don’t, causing a more mindful approach to consumption.
This proposal was created as part of my honours year at Massey studying Visual Communication Design. This was a 12 week project with the outcome being a research proposal. The process, methodologies, design outcome and plan is documented in the dossier bellow.