Textiles Environment Design

Image: 'THE TEN' cards, Textiles Environment Design research group, Chelsea, 2013.
Image: 'THE TEN' cards, Textiles Environment Design research group, Chelsea, 2013.

The Textile Environment Design (TED) research group at Chelsea was established in 1996 and is a unique collective of practising designers and educators, now part of the University's Textiles Futures Research Centre.

The group builds the Sustainable Strategy platform within the Research Centre, with the main aim of developing the role that the designer can play in reducing impact on the environment and providing tools for design-centred solutions.

TED developed THE TEN – a set of sustainable design strategies in response to the increasingly harsh environmental impacts of the textile industry and using this concern as a provocation for action.

‘Eighty percent of a product’s environmental and economic costs (are) committed by the final design stage before production begins’ (Graedel et al, 1995:17)

Since 1996, TED has used its portfolio of international workshops and lectures to create a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach to sustainability in the textiles and fashion industry, but increasingly applied to wide range of industries, including interior, architecture, and product design. The strategies were developed in order to apply new research findings from TED workshops, which include elements of strategic design thinking about the lifecycle and aesthetic issues of a product.

THE TEN strategies also function as a framework for large-scale companies and small-to-medium-size enterprises (SME’s) who wish to be pro-active and create real change in design and production. Through TED’s TEN design-thinking workshops, the strategies can be a catalyst for companies and individuals to apply sustainable thinking to decisions, which drive innovation and new ways of doing business. Recent consultancies include Stanhope Plc, PPR Home (now Kering), H&M, The Continuity Company (TCC Global), Sloggi, Puma, VF Corporation and Gucci.

The TED website www.tedresearch.net is built for students and professional designers, extending the dissemination of TED research beyond its immediate culture. The resource and the cards can be used as a practical tool for implementation in research, education, business and wider cultural environments. 

Follow this link to go to more information aboutFind out more about Textile Futures Research Centre

Rebecca Earley

Professor of Sustainable Textile and Fashion Design, Director of Textiles Future Research Centre – TFRC.

Becky's research work and creative practice has sought to develop strategies – THE TEN – for the designer to employ in seeking to reduce the environmental impact of textile production, consumption and disposal. Becky’s core approach is based on learning through practice, shown in her Top 100 and Worn Again projects, both of which started as an exploration of textiles upcycling.

Professor Becky Earley's Research Profile

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Kay Politowicz

Professor in Textile Design.

Kay is co-author of TED’s TEN, and co-founder of TED. She is a designer, researcher and former BA Textiles Course Director; she is known for both her work in printed textiles and her theoretical and practice-based research into sustainable textile design strategies. 

Professor Kay Politowicz's Research Profile

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Kate Goldsworthy

TED Senior Research Fellow, lead researcher at TFRC

Kate's research explores the role of new manufacturing processes and digital technologies in creating innovative tools for recycling synthetic materials. Her core strengths are design for cyclability, new finishing technologies and materials R&D.

Dr Kate Goldsworthy's Research Profile

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Clara Vuletich

TED/MISTRA PhD candidate

Clara was the Research Assistant at TED between 2006-2011, and during this period she became increasingly aware of the urgency with which we needed to address fundamentals of the textile and fashion industries – one that designers are implicitly involved in. She is now the funded MISTRA Future Fashion student with TED.

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Miriam Ribul

Research Assistant

Miriam has worked within TED since December 2011 and has been appointed for the MISTRA Future Fashion project. She has contributed to TED consultancy work with companies such as VF and continues her research in sustainable manufacturing processes that include material development and social engagement.

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