Professor Dilys Williams

Profile image of Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion

Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion

London College of Fashion

Biography

Professor Dilys Williams FRSA is Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a University of the Arts Research Centre, which she established in 2008, supported by London College of Fashion, the centre’s base.

Guiding the centre’s exploration of fashion and sustainability, her work contributes to the study of fashion as a life well lived within ecological boundaries and practices of human equity. This study is applied to new forms of education, business, public and political dialogue.

Dilys’ work draws on her extensive experience as a lead womenswear designer with international collections for Katharine Hamnett, Liberty and Whistles alongside an internationally based and globally recognised teaching and research portfolio.  

Her place on the Evening Standard’s London’s Progress 1000 list in 2015 evidences the public and academic influence of her work alongside her membership of the Observer Ethical Awards judging panel, advisory roles to business and academic institutions and regular contribution in the media, including the Guardian, ShowSTUDIO and Salt magazine.

Acting as co-secretariat to the House of Lords All Party Parliamentary Group on Fashion, Sustainability and Ethics, she brings a range of climate and social change considerations to the attention of key political figures, creating space for a range of voices for change to be heard.

Trained at Manchester Metropolitan University and holding a UAL professorship, Dilys publishes widely on fashion and sustainability in academic journals and published books.  

Research projects include Shared Talent, re-connecting the disconnect in the creative exchange of fashion creation to acknowledge the roles of parts in a whole, (Trans)formations, the development of new practices in education and business through an academic-industry exchange, and Habit(AT), the exploration of healthy city metabolisms through fashion’s role in culture and social practice.

Research interests

Fashion and Sustainability, Design for Sustainability, Visualising interdependencies through fashion; Education for Sustainability in Design; Fashion as contributor to society, community, identity; Fashion as business practice, artistic practice and political stage.

Research statement

Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability at UAL, Dilys’ work explores a new discipline created through the interweaving of fashion design and sustainability, their theories, practices and applications.

Her current research projects include (Trans)formations, an exchange between academia and business based on design for sustainability visions and actions, working with world leading luxury fashion business Kering; Habit(AT), an AHRC funded project exploring healthy city metabolisms through fashion; and Centre for Sustainable Fashion as a exploratory space for principles of sustainability and fashion to be tested and practiced. For more information about the centre, go to www.sustainable-fashion.com

Project awards, and grants

2015 - 2016

  • Habit(AT) at Being Human Festival, AHRC, £2,500

2014 – 2015

  • Habit(AT) at Being Human Festival, AHRC, £1,000
  • I Stood Up To Violence Against Nature, AHRC, £6,370
  • (Trans)formations, Industry funding, £500,000

2013 – 2014

  • ERDF Creative Hub, ERDF, £100,000
  • ShwopLab, Industry funding, £5,000
  • RESP Biodiversity in Luxury Fashion, Industry funding, £10,000
  • Agents for Change, HEA, £7,000

2012 – 2013

  • ERASMUS Intensive Programme 1, ERASMUS, £28,396

2011 – 2012

  • Fashion Design for Sustainability Consultancy, £2,000
  • Sustainable Fashion Lab in association with Oxfam, M&S, £15,000
  • ‘Mobilize Makers’, Industry funding, £286,700
  • Fashioning the Future Awards, Private Sector, £30,000
  • ERASMUS Intensive Programme 2, ERASMUS, £47,677
  • Shwop Phase 2, Industry funding, £5,000

2010 – 2011

  • London Style, ERDF, £300,000

2009 – 2010

  • Shared Talent India Project and Business Resource, Creative Connexions and Defra, £94,000
  • Fashioning the Future Awards, Private Sector, £45,000
  • Sustainability Solutions, Unilever, £10,000
  • Fashion Futures 2025, Forum for the Future, £3,800

Students

Current students and thesis titles

Katherine Pogson, Deep fashion: craft values as transformative tools to create new relationships with fashion artefacts, and more sustainable futures for consumers and makers in the UK.

Completed students and thesis titles

Flavia Amadeu, The Materiality of Rubber Artefacts from the Amazon Rainforest in Design and Crafts.

Selected research outputs

  • Fashion Design and Sustainability

    Williams, Dilys (2015) Fashion Design and Sustainability. In: Sustainable Apparel: Production, Processing and Recycling. Woodhead Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78242-339-3

  • Fashion Design

    Williams, Dilys (2015) Fashion Design. In: Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion. Routledge, Oxon, UK, pp. 234-242. ISBN 0415828597

  • Fashion Question Time at the Houses of Parliament

    Williams, Dilys, Fashion Revolution (2015) Fashion Question Time at the Houses of Parliament. In: Fashion Question Time at the Houses of Parliament, 26th February 2015, Houses of Parliament.

  • Habit(AT) Denoting Practices in Space and Time

    Williams, Dilys, Centre for Sustainable Fashion (2014) Habit(AT) Denoting Practices in Space and Time. Project Report. London College of Fashion, London, UK.

  • Fashion Education in Sustainability: Change Through Experiential Crossings

    Williams, Dilys (2013) Fashion Education in Sustainability: Change Through Experiential Crossings. In: TEESNET Global Citizenship Sixth Annual Conference, 11 July 2013, London South Bank University.

  • The Making of a Social Object: Collaboration between Nike and Centre for Sustainable Fashion

    Williams, Dilys (2013) The Making of a Social Object: Collaboration between Nike and Centre for Sustainable Fashion. In: Sustainable Fashion: New Approaches. Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, pp. 164-173. ISBN 978-952-5572-5

  • Designers fashioning the future industry

    Williams, Dilys (2012) Designers fashioning the future industry. In: The Sustainable Fashion Handbook. Thames and Hudson, London, pp. 96-108. ISBN 9780500290569

  • Fashion Education In Sustainability In Practice

    Fletcher, Kate and Williams, Dilys (2013) Fashion Education In Sustainability In Practice. Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, 17 (2). pp. 81-88. ISSN 1560-6074

  • DEFRA Clothing Action Plan

    Williams, Dilys, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Centre for Sustainable Fashion (2011) DEFRA Clothing Action Plan. Other. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

  • Shared Talent

    Williams, Dilys and Fletcher, Kate (2010) Shared talent: an exploration of the potential of the 'Shared Talent' collaborative and hands on educational experience for enhanced learning around sustainability in fashion practice. In: Sustainability in Design: Now! Challenges and Opportunities for Design Research, Education and Practice in the XXI Century. Greenleaf Publishing Ltd, London, pp. 1096-1004. ISBN 9781906093549