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Central Saint Martins

Sustainable Fashion Manifesto - LVMH

Fashion faces some of the biggest challenges in making the industry sustainable: its wastes pollute the environment; its processes deplete finite resources; many of the materials used are not sustainably sourced and production methods are not always fair to the labour forces and communities involved.

Each year CSM’s Fashion programme initiate a number of dedicated sustainable fashion projects that provide students with an opportunity to understand the issues and develop design responses. These projects involve industry partners who provide real world context as well as additional activists, experts and stakeholders who collectively create an immersive experience that exposes students to the latest thinking and approaches.

Industry partners benefit from the chance to see sustainability issues brought to life through the eyes of tomorrow's designers. They also create an experimental space in which to catalyse and test new ideas.

A recent collaboration between LVMH and BA Fashion Design with Marketing and Fashion Journalism saw LVMH brands generously donate rolls of waste fabrics such as wool, cotton and polyester. In response, students added value by creatively reusing and repurposing materials that would otherwise be used as landfill.

The results went beyond ‘upcycling’ to offer a range of witty, poetic, imaginative and highly crafted responses which can be viewed on the 1Granary website.

Efflorescence: a zero-waste vision

The ‘Efflorescense’ project team was judged by a panel of experts to be the overall winner.

The zero-waste designs drew on folk traditions of the Czech Republic,where heirloom pieces are embellished continually as they pass down from one generation to the next; a traceability lost in western consumer society. Students provided garments with many different life cycles, other than landfill. Their pieces were enriched with ties and gathers to allow for customisation, and incorporated toiling waste and natural sugar crystals into the production.


If we knew the origins of everything we were wearing, the hours it took to produce, the production methods, the materials, would that garment suddenly mean something more to us than just something we put on our backs?

Students, clients and staff involved were impassioned by the project and felt strongly that education needs to take a lead role in changing the industry. The project was a clear example of the fashion industry collaborating with education and emerging designers to address the global challenge and imagine a better future.

Heather Sproat, BA Fashion:

We’ve had feedback from the industry saying how important it is that we train designers in sustainability while they are at college, so that when they can go into the industry, they change it from the inside out.

Cecile Joucan, Biodiversity Manager, LVMH

I found the project really amazing and very interesting. There was lots of beauty in the project. Some of the challenges that have been highlighted were about the huge amounts of clothes and apparel that are thrown away, and the fact that people don’t know where their clothes are coming from and where they go afterwards.

Kristen Nuttall, Sustainability Consultant:

Education is the only way we can change this. By engaging our consumer; by engaging designers; by engaging the industry in general; we can try to make some change.

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