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Professor Dilys Williams

Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability
London College of Fashion
Researcher Research
Dilys  Williams


Professor Dilys Williams FRSA is founder and Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a University of the Arts London Research Centre, based at London College of Fashion, which she established in 2008.

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. Through design practice, this is applied to new forms of education, business, public and political dialogue.

Dilys’ work draws on her longstanding research, teaching and industry experience as a lead womenswear designer with international collections for Katharine Hamnett, Liberty and Whistles, AHRC, ERDF, ESRC and Erasmus funded projects in Fashion Design for Sustainability and knowledge exchange work with small to large businesses. Having established and led MA Fashion and the Environment, now MA Fashion Futures, led by Julia Crew, her teaching spans from BA to PhD supervision.

As Special Advisor 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.

Her place on the Evening Standard’s London’s Progress 1000 list in 2015, 2016 and 2017 evidences the public and academic influence of her work. Dilys holds advisory roles to business and academic institutions and regularly contributes to media publications including the Guardian, ShowSTUDIO and Salt magazine. In 2020, she was named Drapers’ Sustainable Fashion Champion.

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

Current research projects include leadership of a cross EU project, FashionSEEDS, funded by Erasmus, to develop a platform for teaching and learning in Fashion Design for Sustainability, which will become an open source resource for tutors internationally.
Fostering Sustainable Practices, funded by AHRC, which Dilys co-manages and is co-investigator, is a cross university partnership exploring small and micro business design and entrepreneurship practices that balance cultural, social, environmental and economic sustainability. She is also Co-I on BFTT, a multi-stranded project with multiple partners, Dilys is working with Steve Evans of Cambridge University and with industry partner, ASOS, to develop design and business practices for sustainability.

For more information about the centre, go to

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

  • British Council, Mapping trends and best practice in climate sustainability and the arts - Culture Responds to Global Challenges, £14,000.00, (2022-2023)
  • InnovateUK, Towards a Sustainable Fashion Ecosystem, £40,000.00, (2021-2022)
  • EU funded Erasmus + Strategic Partnership, Fashion SEEDS, €134,525.00, (2018)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council, Rethinking Fashion Design Entrepreneurship: Fostering Sustainable Practices, £445,116.00, (2018)
  • Technology Strategy Board, Re-Making, £135,848.00, (2015-2017)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), IStoodUpToViolence, £6,370.00, (2014-2015)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), TRANSFER: TRading Approaches to Nurturing Sustainable consumption in Fashion and Energy Retail, £17,422.00, (2014-2014)

Research Outputs

Art/Design item


Book Section

Conference, Symposium or Workshop item





Current research students

  • Flavia Amadeu, The Materiality of Rubber Artefacts from the Amazon Rainforest in Design and Crafts. (Lead supervisor)
  • Victoria Ho, Role of Designer: Engagement of Artisans from Vietnam Within a Dynamic Business Model (Joint supervisor)
  • Lauren Junestrand Leal, “Extending the life of fashion through circularity: an exploration into consumer behaviour towards clothing utilisation and consequent strategic opportunities for fashion brands.” (Lead supervisor)
  • Yvonne Ntiamoah, Decolonised Academic Curriculum in Fashion Design Pedagogy in Africa (Lead supervisor)
  • Elisa Palomino Perez, How can fish skin leather be designed in an environmentally responsible way as an alternative to exotic leather, contributing to the improvement of sustainable fashion systems? (Lead supervisor)
  • 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. (Lead supervisor)
  • Katelyn Pugh (Toth-Fejel), Fashion-In-Residence: A practice-led enquiry into the landscape of local clothing systems (Joint supervisor)

Past research students

  • M Cook-Obregon, MA Fashion Futures


Fashion design