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Responsible Living

Prof. Becky Earley

In 2011 TED was selected by VF Corporation, USA – the largest fashion conglomerate in the world – to curate an exhibition of prototypes to explore future sustainability for their 25+ clothing brands, using The TEN as a framework.

The research process included developing a UAL student competition and a keynote and workshop to CEO’s of the corporation, at MIT Media Lab in Boston. The FutureWear exhibition – a major event exclusive to the company – explored the future of apparel, showcasing cutting-edge textile and processes, and was attended by 300 VF leaders from around the world. It featured over 80 commissioned exhibits organised in 7 themes, curated by VF’s appointed curators, including Bradley Quinn, Anne-Marie Commandeur, Sabine Seymour, FranklinTill, along with the TED team (Earley & Politowicz), to bring innovative ideas, materials and technologies of relevance to the various brands in the corporation.

The TED theme – Responsible Living – developed ten innovative concepts, which were presented through two loaned collections and eight commissioned collections, four of which included new prototypes by the TED team. Earley devised Transformable Packaging – 5 prototypes that aimed to add value to and reduce the resources used in shoe packaging by using Box-Plus and Box-Less ideas. Dr Kate Goldsworthy developed a Zero Waste jacket with laser finishing. Clara Vuletich’s ‘Design For Change’ developed a social innovation model to create a new product collection using denim waste. Kay Politowicz and Sandy MacLennan prototyped a mass-market, closed-loop approach to ‘wear once’ clothing, designed to avoid laundry and landfill, where substrates and finishing processes were developed with industrial collaborators, including textured viscose and paper pulp. Other exhibits were borrowed from designers that are groundbreaking in this field: Worn Again, David Telfer, Suzanne Lee, Philippa Brock, Shaun Samson and Will Shannon.