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Professor Dilys Williams

Professor of Academic Leadership
London College of Fashion
Researcher Research
Dilys  Williams


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.

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

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

  • 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)
  • 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