Earlier this year I was invited to speak and give a workshop at Sass Brown's Summer School, at FIT, New York, and managed to take out the Textile Toolbox show too. FIT hosted a two week showcase of the work, which was a great final outcome for the Mistra Future Fashion research.
Set up was very quick thanks to uber-efficient TED assistant Miriam Ribul and FIT administrator Elke, and so I got Friday afternoon to Monday morning to see some sights and explore. I hadn't been to NYC since September 2012, and I was keen to find the green shoots of alternative business and lifestyle models that it's becoming famous for, particularly outside of Manhattan.
A chance to show, speak and workshop in NYC was a great opportunity, but all this flying around the globe is difficult to reconcile with my conscience. It tends to make my #nonewclothes2015 pledge feel a bit small. But, by being there, I am also having an impact on many companies and decision makers. I can only hope that what I inspire them to do afterwards will help offset my footprint. In Sweden I have helped companies redesign products and make Higgs Index savings of up to 41% - on a large volume product this could be quite considerable, so maybe at the FIT Summer School some of the brands will score well too when they go back and put their plans into action.
The following week I took the train up to Nottingham, to take part in the PLATE conference. FIT Dean Sass Brown was there too, presenting her excellent paper about future sustainable luxury and artisnal craft in a global context. So we got to catch up after the busy Summer School the week before and make some new plans over late night noodles. We were tempted to take up the invite to go to a karaoke night with the staff at Wagamama's, but sensibly declined to attempt to recover from the jet lag instead.
I was at PLATE presenting Mistra work that Kate Goldsworthy and I had conducted around designing for short and long life cyclable textiles.
The accompanying exhibition at PLATE was a real treat and had some great items in it - including the books below and the ultimate in transforming clothes by ex-engineer Annalisa Simmonella. It made me think about how one of her dresses would have been so very very useful on my work recent trips - transforming with delicate buttons from short to long sleeve, and from full skirt to mini skirt… and many other configurations besides. I could have reduced my packing considerably, and had fun working out what was appropriate from event to event. She could really help me out during this year of #nonewclothes2015...