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The TEN

Prof. Becky Earley

The TEN strategies assist designers in understanding the many multi-layered aspects involved in sustainability, offering an opportunity to explore inter-connected and cross-disciplinary design approaches to sustainable design. If we agree that designers must prioritise environmental sustainability in their creative thinking (Bruntland, 1987) – because eighty to ninety percent of a product’s environmental and economic costs (are) committed by the final design stage before production begins (Graedel et al, 1995:17) – then what we surely need now are knowledge and tools to help us make design decisions.

Earley, Politowiczand the TED team devised The TEN strategies over a period of time by testing a variety of concepts and approaches through practice projects. In 2006 they had developed 6 strategies, in 2007 there were 7, and by 2010 the full 10 were published via Creative Commons. The 10 Strategies concentrate on examples from textiles, fashion, but can be adapted to a wide range of disciplines, and can be continuously re-defined as new developments emerge. Recent projects have adapted the The TEN for projects with fine artists, shoe designers, industrial designers, interior designers and graphic designers.

In 2011 The TEN were published as a set of playing cards, and became the focus for Earley and Politowicz’s MISTRA Future Fashion research project. They were referenced as a key design tool in the NICE Code of Conduct (2012) document (page 100); formed the basis of the VF Consultancy work; and underpin the TED designer training work at H&M and the Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA) in Sweden. Earley and Politowicz published a positioning paper in 2013 at the Cumulus conference about the cards as a tool for creating change – on both micro and macro level.