New online tool launched to encourage sustainability in clothing design

The Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI) has launched a new online tool to help clothing designers and product developers to design and produce clothes more sustainably, in order to reduce textile waste.

The online platform - Design for Longevity - was launched yesterday (2 October) and was created as part of the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP), an EU project created to drive sustainability throughout the entire clothing lifecycle and funded by the European Community’s LIFE financial instrument.

The platform contains the most relevant information, inspiration, practical tools and guidance on sustainable design to help designers no matter the size of their operation nor the category of clothing on which they work.

As part of ECAP’s overriding ambition, DAFI’s new platform aids the decision-making process during the design stage, drives industry action on sustainability and works actively to shape positive consumer attitudes towards extending the active lifetime of clothes, instilling circular production approaches into real-life design environments.

The Design for Longevity platform identifies and prioritises a range of possible design actions for instilling more circular operations in the design process, including identifying key trends and new possibilities in design and manufacture, providing information on innovative business models and sustainable craftmanship, informing better choices around fibres and fabrics, providing options for reuse and recycling and how to care and repair clothing, as well as exploring how and why consumers dispose of clothing.

The tool has been produced in conjunction with leading European fashion councils and universities, such as the Sustainable Fashion Academy, Mistra Future Fashion, the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, the Swedish Fashion Council and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Design, and practitioners from across the fashion sector, providing an evolving online resource to aid designers in implementing changes to their operations.

Commenting on the launch, Tobias Harboe, Project Manager at DAFI, said: “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.”

You can find out more about sustainable clothing design on DAFI’s Design for Longevity platform.

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