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European Clothing Action Plan : New online toolkit sets its designs on changing European fashion for good

European Clothing Action Plan : New online toolkit sets its designs on changing European fashion for good

European Clothing Action Plan Press : New online toolkit sets its designs on changing European fashion for good

The Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI) have launched a free online platform created to empower clothing designers and product developers to produce clothes more sustainably; helping to cut out waste in fashion and to extend the life of clothes.  

The online platform – Design for Longevity – has been produced in association with leading European fashion councils and universities, and in consultation with practitioners from across the fashion sector. The result is an evolving online resource containing the most relevant information, inspiration, practical tools, and guidance on sustainable design. It will help designers to implement changes into their own operations quickly and effectively; whether working in large companies or as solo operators, and across all clothing categories. 

Design for Longevity has been produced as part of the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP), the first EU-Life funded project to drive sustainability throughout the entire lifecycle of clothing, supported by the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community.

DAFI’s new platform aids the decision-making process during design; helping to drive industry action on sustainability, and to shape positive consumer attitudes towards extending the active life of clothes. The platform helps bring theories of circular production into real-life design environments, providing practical support, and helping individual businesses to design clothes more sustainably. 

Tobias Harboe, Project Manager at DAFI says “The role of designers is changing, as is the scope of design itself, which has shifted from simply creating 'great clothes’ to finding solutions for a new fashion system. This is a big shift that requires new skills and learning, which is exactly what Design for Longevity provides.” 

“Working out where to start is difficult, but Design for Longevity provides a catalogue of ideas, suitable for all types of brands. DAFI has worked with key institutions and experts on sustainable design across Europe to produce the materials that designers need, and the tools they can use. We’re continuing to work with a wide range of brands, retailers and issue-driven organisations, as well as research institutions, to make this an evolving platform that is a conduit for new research and design.

Design for Longevity has identified and prioritised a range of possible design actions within the platform. These include:

  • Key trends
  • New possibilities in design and manufacture
  • Innovative business models
  • Choices around fibre and fabric
  • Craftsmanship
  • Options for re-use and recycling
  • Care and repair
  • How and why consumers dispose of clothing

Notes to editor 

• Designers are key to a sustainable fashion industry as decisions made during the design and product development stage determines what environmental impact the product will cause – from raw material stage, through production and use until the garment is disposed of.

• Organisation that supported the development of the platform include:
1. Sustainable Fashion Academy
2. Mistra Future Fashion
3. Amsterdam Fashion Institute
4. Flanders DC
5. Design School Kolding
6. British Fashion Council
7. Swedish Fashion Council
8. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Design
9. The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås
10. Textile Futures Research Centre, University of the Arts

• ECAP the European Clothing Action Plan – is an exciting project that will bring environmental and economic benefit to the clothing sector. Its holistic approach encompasses sustainable design, production, consumption, public procurement, collection and recycling through to reprocessing.  The project focuses on the clothing supply chain specifically to reduce waste and to bring about effective waste recovery. Retailers, brands, suppliers, public sector, re-use and recycling organisations and charities are all encouraged to commit to a target-based Clothing Action Plan that will be supported by a consumer campaign to change behaviour. 

• MADE-BY is an award-winning European not-for-profit organisation acting to improve environmental and social conditions within the fashion industry. It is MADE-BY’s mission to ‘Make Sustainable Fashion Common Practice’ and they have worked with over 100 brands, retailers and sector bodies on bespoke consultancy, policy advice, and through their industry leading performance tracking tool MODE Tracker.