The Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion was formed in 2018 by (in alphabetical order) Kate Fletcher, Lynda Grose, Timo Rissanen and Mathilda Tham. The formation of the Union was inspired by the Union of Concerned Scientists, formed in 1969 in the USA. Our manifesto embodies our intention for founding this Union. We are researchers focusing on fashion and sustainability, and our primary aim is to engage with other researchers as well as business.
The co-founders are:
Lynda Grose is Chair of the Fashion Design program at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. She has worked on sustainability in fashion design for almost three decades with corporations, artisans, farmers, NGO’s, governmental and educational institutions. Grose co-founded ESPRIT’s
Grose co-authored Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change (Laurence King Publishers, London), available in five languages. She is a contributing author to Opening Up the Wardrobe (Novus Press), The Routledge Handbook on Sustainable Fashion (Routledge), Sustainable Textiles: Life Cycle and Environmental Impact (Woodhouse Publishing, London), and Sustainability in Fashion and Textiles: Values, Design, Production
She is currently working on post-growth design concepts aiming to satisfy the wearer’s desire for something new in ‘ways other’ than shopping.
Mathilda Tham’s (
The core team also includes:
Otto von Busch (PhD) is associate professor of Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design. In his artistic practice and research he explores participatory forms of fashion reform, where fashion acts as a collective experience of empowerment, liberation and shared aliveness. Over the last decades, he has examined alternative perspectives on fashion, from hacktivism, Buddhism, and imaginal mysticism. Some of his latest works examine fashion as an energy and embodied emotion, utilising the lenses of biology and neuroscience.
Amy Twigger Holroyd (PhD) is a designer, maker, researcher and writer. She is a Senior Lecturer in Design, Culture and Context at Nottingham Trent University, UK. Amy founded her experimental knitwear label, Keep & Share, in 2004, to explore ideas of slowness and craft in relation to fashion and sustainability. Her PhD, completed at Birmingham City University in 2013, formed the basis of her first book, Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes, published in 2017. She has since co-edited two further books. The practical side of her doctoral research developed into Reknit Revolution, an ongoing initiative supporting knitters to rework the items in their wardrobes. Current projects include the collaborative leadership of two research networks, Stitching Together and Crafting the Commons, and the development of an initiative that explores fictional storyworlds in order to imagine, experience and analyse alternative fashion systems.
Tone Skårdal Tobiasson is a journalist, author and editor of nicefashion.org. She is based in Oslo, Norway, and was for many years editor of a leading Norwegian fashion magazine, gaining valuable insights into the narrow thought-mode of the industry. Over a decade ago she switched gears and developed a platform for sharing knowledge surrounding environmental and ethical issues in fashion and textiles, and named it Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical Fashion. This became an internet site for both designers and consumers with funding from the Norwegian government. The platform has since moved to Facebook to be more interactive, as other similar initiatives emerged. She has co-authored several books, many on wool and crafts, and the latest a co-production on apparel care. She leads dissemination for research projects generated by the Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) at OsloMet and is also an expert correspondent for EcoTextile News.