Introduction

The aim: To extend the lifespan of garments through changes to current design practices.

The expected outcome: To equip designers and product development teams with the tools and knowledge making them capable of influencing industry and consumer practices.

Why take action

It is widely accepted that designers influence up to 80% of a products environmental impact through pattern development, material choice etc. This makes fashion and textiles designers key in improving the environmental profile of a product.

There were found to be four fundamental areas where changes to design practices can help ensure items look good for longer and therefore extend their usable life. These include size and fit, fabric quality, colours and styles and care. In addition to this, designers can influence garment longevity in a broader context through new approaches to design such as designing for recycling, less packaging and re-purposing.  These areas were used as a basis for the platform development.

Key steps

Step 1 – Mapping of existing knowledge and practices through industry and stakeholder workshops across the EU

Step 2 – Compile and analyse results

Step 3 – Develop and online course outline

Step 4 – Recruitment of course participants and execution of online course programme

About the Design for Longevity platform

This action has resulted in the creation of the Design for Longevity platform that will raise awareness, inspire and empower designers and product developers to influence the extended life of clothing through changes to design practices that also support a circular economy.

Created in collaboration with designers and product developers, the platform showcases the importance of their role in the fashion sector. It highlights what concrete actions they can take to actively change the design process towards integrating best practices and inspiring new innovations.

It will help the sector to make informed decisions during the design phase in order to influence industry and consumer practices towards extending the lifespan of garments.

Go to the Design for Longevity platform and take a look for yourself.