- Design and Technology Futures
- Opportunities within sustainable garment technology: improving garment longevity and reuse cycles through an adjustable fitting mechanism
- Tutor: Ruth-Helene Melioranski and Kirsi Laitala
- Research combining garment technology and systems thinking
Increasing consumer knowledge about fashion’s wastefulness has pushed the industry to look toward sustainable strategies. Approaches such as the circular economy and slow fashion emphasise longevity and circularity, endorsing companies to improve business models by introducing rental, lease, resale, and repair services. Although sustainability efforts exist, they do not operate on a broader scale. In addition, sustainability discourse does not often emphasise the garment. While consumption and business models are improved towards sustainability, the actual product (i.e., the garment) has not been improved together with other system elements. This disconnect demonstrates that fashion sustainability improvement is not practised holistically, but rather piecemeal. This thesis undertakes to address this crucial disconnect, in particular, recentring the garment per se from the technical-methodological perspective of fit (i.e., how a given garment fits the body of a given wearer) to reframe more holistic models of fashion sustainability.
Diverse stakeholders in the industry – e.g., garment manufacturers, brands and designers, retailers and distributors, consumers, maintenance services, and collection and sorting providers – view sustainability issues from different perspectives, and the current fashion system does not foster transparency and collaboration. The product (i.e., the garment) represents the system’s central component, functioning as a touchpoint with all stakeholders. However, despite this reality, the produced and distributed product is not perceived as a potential key to sustainability. This study brings garments into focus and examines the system from the perspective of the product, following its journey.