AHRC and British Fashion Council back green innovation in fashion

Tailor adjusts garment design on mannequin in workshop.

A new partnership between the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and British Fashion Council will support sustainability in the fashion industry.

AHRC and the British Fashion Council have joined forces to support research into ethical and sustainable fashion through the recently launched Institute of Positive Fashion.

This exciting partnership will see researchers work hand in hand with influential figures in the fashion industry to translate research into changes to policy and business practices.

Working collaboratively for change

Arts and humanities research can develop new possibilities for the future, but its only when researchers collaborate with industry partners that these changes can be put into practice.

This partnership will enable researchers to deliver real-world change that has the potential to improve quality of life in the UK and internationally.

Addressing contemporary challenges

Recent research undertaken in 2020 for the British Fashion Council by Oxford Economics, showed that the COVID crisis has seen 73% of UK fashion brands experiencing cancelled orders from wholesale partners. Added to this, UK clothes sales fell by 34% in March 2020 alone.

The result has been an unprecedented inventory crisis that has urgently increased the need to eliminate waste and encourage the reuse of vital resources.

By exploring new ways to do this, this partnership will help contribute towards a more environmentally friendly society and support UKRI’s clean growth priority and environmental sustainability strategy.

Tackling real world challenges

Professor Christopher Smith, Executive Chair of AHRC said:

This collaboration with the British Fashion Council forms part of a much wider ambition of the AHRC to foster relationships between researchers and the UK’s world leading creative industries.

This research opportunity offers a chance for academics and sector experts to work together to turn ideas into reality, and demonstrates the vital contribution of creative design thinking to tackle real world challenges.

Seeking innovative thinkers

As part of the partnership, AHRC and the British Fashion Council have launched a call for two post-doctoral researchers.

The call is for a 12-month research project, which will explore human relationships with clothes and the longevity of garments.

Cutting across consumers, academia and industry, the research will examine garment consumption and care, with the ultimate ambition of reducing the number of garments going to landfill.

This forms part of AHRC’s wider ambition to explore how we live together now, and in the future, to respond to pressing societal questions around issues such as sustainability.

To apply for this fellowship, please visit the British Fashion Council – research postdoctoral fellowship.

Top image:  Credit: triocean/Getty Images

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