About The Project
Local Wisdom is a project originated by Dr Kate Fletcher, Reader in Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion. Started in 2009, Local Wisdom is now generously funded by The Leverhulme Trust.
The project, which links together a network of partners and design activity in seven centres of high fashion consumption spread across three continents, explores satisfying and resourceful practices associated with using clothes. This ‘craft of use’ aims to challenge the dependency of the fashion industry on increasing material throughput and propose solutions through sustained attention to tending and using garments and not just creating them.
Local Wisdom combines ethnographic research methods with design process. It gathers stories and images from the public of how people use their clothes at community photo shoots. These use practices are then the basis and inspiration for design projects in the UK, USA, Canada, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand which aim to amplify these practices and explore their integration into larger programmes or original business models. Frequently Asked Questions
The sorts of stories we're looking for include, among other things, a garment that:
- Is easily repairable
- Is shared between people
- Is enjoying a third, fourth or fifth life
- Surprises you each time you wear it
- Shows or tells the story of how it has been used
- Is worn in ways that defy the producer’s values
- Is worn regularly and has never been washed (and isn't leather!)
- Is made up of interchangeable pieces that can be worn in different ways
- Connect you to others
- Is worn in response to changing economic and environmental concerns
- Is adapted over and again in order to meet changing needs
To date, community photoshoots have taken place in:
- Melbourne, Australia (March 2013) co-ordinated by RMIT as part of the Local Wisdom International Network. Photography by Paul Allister.
- Wellington, New Zealand (March 2013) co-ordinated by Massey University as part of the Local Wisdom International Network. Photography by Aliscia Young.
- New York, USA (January 2013) co-ordinated by Parsons the New School of Design as part of the Local Wisdom International Network. Photography by Ellinor Stigle.
- Vancouver, Canada(January 2013) co-ordinated by Emily Carr as part of the Local Wisdom International Network. Photography by Jeremy Calhoun.
- Carnaby Street, London, UK (December 2012) co-ordinated by the London College of Fashion. Photography by Tim Mitchell.
- Kolding, Denmark (September 2012) co-ordinated by Kolding School of Design as part of the Local Wisdom International Network. Photography by Jens Christian.
- Marin City, CA (July 2012) co-ordinated by California College of the Arts as part of the Local Wisdom International Network. Photography by Paige Green.
- Mission District, San Francisco (July 2012) co-ordinated by California College of the Arts as part of the Local Wisdom International Network. Photography by Paige Green.
- Dublin, Ireland (April 2012) as part of Better Fashion Week Dublin in conjunction with Re-Dress. Photography by Des Moriarty.
- Oslo, Norway (March 2012) in conjunction with the Product Life Extension Conference orgnanised by SIFO. Photography by Kristin von Hirsch.
- San Francisco, USA (April 2011) as part of the Craft Forward Symposium at California College of the Arts. Photography by Paige Green.
- Palace of Westminster, London UK (March 2011) as part of the All Party Parliamentary Group of Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion. Photography by Kerry Dean.
- Berlin, Germany (July 2010) supported by the British Council (Germany) and Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee. Photography by Stefan Rother.
- Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, UK (January 2010) in conjunction with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion and is part of the SHIFT event organised by Cape Farewell. Photography by Sean Michael.
- Bollington, Cheshire, UK (July 2009) as part of the Three Shires Textile Festival. Photography by Fiona Bailey.
- Totnes, Devon, UK (June 2009) held in association with Transition Town Totnes Sustainable Makers. Photography by Fiona Bailey.