Hur, Eunsuk and Beverley, Katharine J. (2011) Design and Optimisation of a User-Engaged System for Sustainable Fashion. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Sustainable Innovation Conference. Centre for Sustainable Design, Farnham, UK, pp. 72-79.
Abstract

The environmental and social impact of fashion throughout its lifecycle has been well-publicised and
documented (see, for example, Fletcher, 2008). A wide range of environmental and ethical initiatives
exist within the fashion industry, but there are few which wholly embrace a holistic view of
sustainability. Although the use of low impact materials and cleaner production are valuable
practically and relatively straightforward to implement in the industry’s current configuration, the fact
remains that the ‘fast fashion’ paradigm is linear, continuously encouraging people to greater levels of
consumption and waste generation. Allwood et al (2006) and Procter & Gamble (2008) have
determined that the major environmental impacts of many individual garments occur in the use and
end-of-life phases and are heavily influenced and determined by consumer behaviours; it is the
constant purchase and disposal of fashion apparel which is the ‘bread and butter’ of the industry.
Clearly, to provide truly sustainable fashion, a radical change to the business model is necessary.

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