"Lifelong Fashion", by Clara Mallart
Upcycle your life. Temporality, rhythm and time are a few of the variables that determine the current fashion system. From the rhythm of the seasons and collections to the pace of sewing machines in textile factories around the globe, understanding this variable determines how we use and understand fashion in the present day. This research aims to investigate the relationship between textile and the lifespan of an item of clothing through design strategies, and thus enable us to reflect and rebuilx a system of dressing from the perspectives of eco-social well-being.
We must understand the Anthropocene to transform towards the Ecocene, through proposals that are already contributing to generating new perspectives such as de-growth or ecofeminism, opening exploration channels to relate them with textiles. Expanding the lifespan of a piece of clothing is a crucial aspect to reducing the environmental burden of its production. Exploring strategies of reuse and recycling to minimize the social and environmental impact is the main frame of this research, which also charts a path for research through the practices of design and upcycling. We link environmental strategies, textile materiality, usability and temporality in order to rethink a fashion system that must become circular in order to stop having a negative impact on our surroundings and those who live there.
The concrete proposal here is to collect data on some of the specific effects of the textile sector and research them through the frame of upcycling. Minimizing negative effects, or transforming them into positive effects, is one of the large questions that remain around circular design and slow fashion. The textile industry has already begun its transformation, looking for ways to drive it forward is one of the great challenges of our times.
Lifelong fashion is the result of this practice-based research. It is a strategy that considers clothing design from its beginning to the creation of pieces with long life cycles, that links the user with the process of creation. Upcycling thinking arises as a result of the process of research by doing: it is a proposal by design and for design. Upcycling helps us think of the end of life of a piece of clothing, whilst lengthening its useful life. Lifelong fashion helps us think of the early design stages whilst maximizing the life cycles of the piece of clothing. It is about more than just designing textiles or clothing, it is a proposal for designing safe, circular systems for textile artefacts.