Human Stories of Sustainability in the Fashion Industry
At THE-CØDED, it has always been our ambition to contribute towards the co-creation of a future that works for everyone. And by putting PEOPLE in fashion first, we are reimagining the fashion industry.
Central to our vision is the need to ensure the fair and equitable participation of factory workers in the fashion industry supply chain.
We also want to ensure that future leaders and the industry’s changemakers of tomorrow are empowered through knowledge to drive wholesale change through the industry from a grassroots level. We will achieve this through our strong focus on helping to educate young people in schools, fashion colleges and universities, empowering students to think circular about what they buy and what they create and engraining this in their thoughts and processes.
Working with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
We are so excited to be working with Central Saint Martins on a project aimed at empowering the changemakers of tomorrow to design more sustainable futures.
The role that the fashion industry and its stakeholders should play in addressing the sustainability issues that face our planet is complex. We believe that the time has come to begin reframing the discussion, and where better to start than with the future leaders of our industry.
Over the course of 10 weeks between November 2022 and January 2023, Central Saint Martins and THE-CØDED will collaborate to bring to life a competition with the aim of encouraging students to consider ways to redefine sustainability in the fashion industry through the lens of human stories and the relations in the supply chain amongst people, garments, and the planet.
The project will take the form of a competition for students from the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Central Saint Martins.
Working in teams, students will be tasked with designing and creating garments which address the following critical questions:
- How can the fashion industry move progressively towards a more sustainable future?
- Who are the everyday heroes who are transforming the culture?
- What is truly sustainable?
- What is the moral compass for actors throughout the supply chain to guide more sustainable choices?
- How can the fashion industry feel more empowered to act responsibly?
- What can consumers do to bring about positive change?
Follow the Journey
We will be continually updating this page as the project progresses. Check back here to follow the story or check it out on Instagram and share your thoughts.
Week 1 - 2 (21 Nov to 2 Dec 2022)
After an initial briefing by the academic team and a presentation and Q&A session with THE-CØDED team, students embarked on their creative research journey, and began exploring ways to transform waste materials and deadstock fabrics into innovative samples and surfaces. These initial ideations will go on to inspire a creative, playful range of textile print ideas.
The project was well received by the student cohort and energy levels in the studio have run high.
Students have been investigating and analysing their 3D experimental samples and translating this surface and textural information into 2D experimental surface design.
We are loving the good-natured competitive spirit of the project as students vie for places in the team competition with final teams being selected and announced at the end of week 2.
Photo and Video Credits:
Image 1 - @sofiaparadez
Image 2 - @selinadreijer
Image 3 - @sofiaparadez
Image 4 - @MeaghanNewhouse
Image 5 - @YutetsuMatsunaga
Image 6 - @milliebright
Image 7 – @jijnlliang
Image 8 - @sofiaparadez
Video 1 – @_wasiii
Video 2 - @_mwwtt
Week 3 – 4 (5 – 16 Dec 2022)
Our project has moved into its next phase and 10 teams of 4 students have been selected, following a crit session undertaken by the Central Saint Martins academic team. The outstanding quality of the ideas put forward by the students made the selection process tough, and team places were hard won.
THE-CØDED team were then on hand to meet with the student teams and an opportunity was provided for each team to walk us through their initial ideations and explain the thought processes underlying each element. We were seriously impressed with the calibre of the work presented, the thoughtfulness of the concepts, and the attention to detail.
Each student team was then randomly assigned one of our amazing factory partners. They will be required to centre their project creations around their assigned manufacturer, the garments they create, the communities in which they are located, and of course, the incredibly talented people they employ.
We have no doubt that students will continue to challenge themselves and push the boundaries of creativity, as they continue to explore the concept of redefining sustainability through the lens of human stories.
We look forward to seeing what comes next!
Week 5 – 6 (9 – 20 Jan 2023)
Students returned from the festive period break energised and focused.
As our project enters its final stages, we have been so inspired by the energy and passion displayed by the students. They have fully embraced the challenge we have presented them with, and we are excited to see what they have in store or us.
Even their team names have been carefully considered based on the challenge and the students' vision for redefining sustainability in the fashion industry through the lens of human stories and the relations in the supply chain amongst people, garments and the planet.
Team 1: Reclaimed Narrative
Team 2: The Good Egg
Team 3 QR The Solution
Team 4: Conscious Print
Team 5: Rise
Team 6: For the Silenced
Team 7: E-Cow
Team 8: CYCL
Team 9: Made in..
Team 10: Six
Final team presentations take place at Central Saint Martins on Friday 27 January '23. Best of luck to all the students taking part.
WEEK 7 & THE FINALS (23 – 27 Jan 2023)
On Friday 27 January, we concluded our Human Stories of Sustainability in the Fashion Industry project with presentations from our 10 student teams.
It was really great for us and for the students that so many special outside guests were able to join us.
We were beyond blown away by the amount of hard work that all of the teams invested in their projects, and know how proud the university academic team are of all their students, and rightfully so.A huge thank you to all of the students who took part. We can see how much thought and hard work has gone into all of the projects and we have been really inspired by how well they responded to the challenge we presented to them.
When we created this project, we did not know exactly how it would turn out. We asked students to consider how we traditionally define the term sustainability in the fashion industry, and to re-define it through the lens of human stories and the relations in the supply chain amongst people, garments and the planet. This requires not only a high level of maturity, but also of empathy and compassion.
But they did not disappoint us, and based on the work we saw, we are confident that the future of our industry is in good hands.
Congratulations to the winning teams:
- RISE (Story of the Garment)
- The Good Egg (Story of the Manufacturer)
- Reclaimed Narrative (Story of THE-CØDED)
This has been an incredible collaboration between THE-CØDED and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, and although this project is over, the journey has only just begun.
After being briefed on the Human Stories of Sustainability project, inspired by our collaborative cause, Foundation Diploma in Art and Design Student at Central Saint Martins, Noa Nomad Marr-Ross (@noannomad) produced some truly inspirational slam poetry which we are so thrilled to be able to share with you.
Making an ImpactIt was great to have Foundation Diploma in Art and Design programme students share their perspectives regarding sustainability, and we have been so fortunate to have been able to discuss with them the importance of human sustainability, and how this can be considered alongside the environmental aspects as we move towards the co-creation of a fashion industry supply chain which operates for the benefit of all stakeholders, including those with the weakest voice.
Thank you to all of the students for sharing so candidly and openly with us and for giving us the opportunity to work on something so meaningful and with such a positive message.
By encouraging meaningful debate on this issue, we believe that we can begin to shift our narrow thinking on the subject of sustainability in the fashion industry so that it can be seen also through the lens of human stories, and the relations in the supply chain amongst people, garments and the planet.
Video 1: What Interested you in the project with THE-CØDED? (@selinadreijer)
Video 2: Environmental / Human Sustainability (@nicholasskeens)
Video 3: Why is human sustainability in fashion important to you (@shumaitamisbahul)
A Word from the Team
“We are excited and delighted to partner with Central Saint Martins in this educational and thought provoking project. At THE-CØDED we understand that factories and the skilled people who work within them making what we wear are a vital part of our industry. They are the human face of fashion and every decision made within the industry has a major effect on their sustainability. Our aim is to support, protect and celebrate these unsung heroes.”
- Donald Browne. Co-Founder, THE-CØDED
"This creative collaboration between THE-CØDED and Central Saint Martins offers our Foundation Diploma students a unique opportunity to explore relationships within the supply chain between people, garments, and the planet.
Foundation students are at the start of their creative journey. The knowledge students gain through their participation in this project will inform a consideration of ethical practice throughout their creative education and into their careers as the creatives who will become the change makers of tomorrow."
- Yvette Blundell. Curriculum Leader Fashion and Textiles Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Central Saint Martins
"Our unique partnership with THE-CØDED offers a hopeful promise in fulfilling our mutual commitment to sustainable development, and aligning our values, communities, networks, and resources to champion ethical fashion as an agent for sustainability now for the future.”
- Chryssi Tzanetou. Business Development Manager, Social Innovation, Central Saint Martins
Additional InformationIf you are interested in exploring further, please take a look at the articles and video below, that provide a closer look at the project's journey, key milestones, and the enthusiastic individuals who made it all happen. These resources offer a glimpse behind-the-scenes and showcase the remarkable outcomes achieved.
UAL: THE-CØDED x Foundation: Human stories of sustainability within the fashion industry