A Mixed-Method Study of Design Practices and Designers’ Roles in Sustainable-Minded Clothing Companies

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2020-06
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
25
Series
Sustainability, Volume 12, issue 11
Abstract
The way in which the current fashion industry operates needs to fundamentally change. In this endeavour, designers are considered central figures throughout the sustainable fashion literature. However, too little is known about clothing designers’ practical contributions to sustainability. Therefore, this study investigates how sustainability is integrated into design practices in sustainable-minded clothing companies and determines the role of clothing designers in this respect. A mixed-method study was conducted based on a sequential exploratory strategy. The data were collected in two stages: a preliminary phase based on five expert interviews and a survey phase, which involved 31 clothing designers from around Europe. The data analysis was also divided into two phases: thematic analysis of the interviews and content analysis of the survey. The findings indicate that the sustainable design practices within these companies predominantly focus on material choices and aspects that support product longevity. Yet, there is little empirical evidence to support claims regarding garments’ true longevity. Knowledge regarding materials, recycling and best practices is also lacking among clothing designers. Lack of knowledge and company strategies frequently dictate and restrict the design work. This further highlights the fact that designers’ opportunities to influence environmental and social change are more limited than earlier literature suggests.
Description
Keywords
sustainability, sustainable design, sustainable fashion, clothing design, fashion design, design practice, mixed-method
Other note
Citation
Karell , E & Niinimäki , K 2020 , ' A Mixed-Method Study of Design Practices and Designers’ Roles in Sustainable-Minded Clothing Companies ' , Sustainability , vol. 12 , no. 11 , 4680 . https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114680