Over the last ten years TED has been developing a set of practice-based sustainable design strategies that assist designers in creating textiles that have a reduced impact on the environment.
All of our research is based on the estimation that decisions made in design are responsible for eighty to ninety percent of a product's environmental and economic costs (Graedel et al. 1995). This places a clear responsibility in the lap of the designer and is the driver for the development of the sustainable textile design strategies.
These strategies include both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ aspects of eco textile design - the established principles of materials and processes such as low toxicity/organics, new technologies and biomimicry along with the more conceptual ideas including short life/long life textiles, design for low launder and services design. These individual strategies have over time evolved into TED’s TEN, which promote layered design thinking for textile design.
Alongside this, TED has been developing a portfolio of research projects which have explored many aspects of sustainability and textile design. Staff and students work collaboratively and on individual practice-based projects. This archive of past research activity contains a range of methodologies and new thinking that we are continuing to build on and develop. The most recent collaborative projects, including Worn Again: Rethinking Recycled Textiles and the MISTRA Future Fashion project, are leading to the development of a model for practice-based research, the first of its kind within the sustainable textile design field.
Work from TED members has been shown at prestigious international venues including Audax Textile Museum, The Netherlands, Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FMIT), New York and the Science Museum, London, and our research has begun to be shared with commercial and industry partners such as VF Corporation (US) and H & M (Sweden).
We are also lucky enough to work collaboratively with a range of partners and associates, who are integral to our activities. Sustainability is a complex subject area that covers a broad spectrum of related subjects, and this makes working in a cross-disciplinary way, essential and vital.