Union Local Assembly at ArtEZ Community Event

Activities / Blogroll / Local Assemblies

On 5th June 2019, the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion is holding its first Local Assembly in Arnhem, the Netherlands, and we invite you to come and take part.

The Local Assembly will take place within a ‘Community Event’ of the ArtEZ Fashion Professorship and MA Fashion Held in Common. It will be organised using open space methodology and will discuss urgent questions and issues around fashion and sustainability. Our intention is to draft a communiqué from the Arnhem Assembly to share will the rest of the Union.

The event runs from 13:00 – 18:30 CET.

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Call out for names of funders from around the world – can you help?

Blogroll / Funding advocacy

UCRF is compiling a list of names and addresses of funding organisations who offer grants to fund projects about fashion and/or sustainability from around the world.

These organisations might be traditional funding councils, where the grants are from public money, or they may be trusts, foundations or many more things besides.

Our goal is to build a dialogue with funding organisations about the need to support a diversity of projects, including those that deal with systems change and the long term.

We would like to gather the following information:

  1. Name of funding organisation
  2. Website of funding organisation
  3. Email address of contact at the funder (if available)
  4. Short description of the areas the funder typically supports
  5. Type of organisation, eg. funding council, trust, foundation etc
  6. Country
  7. Language(s) funding applications can be submitted in

Email it to us here. Thank you for your help!

Conference announcement: Sustainable Fashion Research Agenda, 13th May 2019

Associated events / Blogroll

The Sustainable Fashion Research Agenda conference (SFRA) is a Danish initiative driven by the urgent need for providing a more public and extrovert voice for research, as current industry claims about progress towards sustainable fashion are often anecdotal in nature and not supported by scientific evidence. In effect, the messages about the current state of sustainable fashion are aspirational at best and greenwashing at worst. Small-scale projects are elevated into global trends even though it is questionable whether these niche initiatives will ever have an impact on the social and environmental footprint of the industry as a whole. Actually, quite a few trends point in the opposite direction.

The aim of the SFRA conference is to provide an evidence-based platform for discussing the current state of affairs when it comes to sustainable fashion. SFRA invites international experts (researchers, NGO’s and companies) to share knowledge on what we actually KNOW today about sustainable fashion, whether it comes to circularity, sustainable fibers, or sustainability and use. The ambition is also to set an agenda for future research on sustainable fashion, which will be shared internally and externally.

The conference will take place two days before the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, on the 13th of May 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Find a tentative programme and information about registration here

News from the first Wiki Editathon

Activities / Blogroll / Wiki-editathon

Editing the sustainable fashion Wikipedia page brought together nine signatories of the Union of Concerned Researchers’ manifesto on Tuesday 26th February. Four from Europe were able to communicate through a chat room, and the five New Yorkers saw each other in the flesh. There was laughter as well as many conversations about how to go about editing. Barely anyone had any experience of editing a Wiki and the page was in need of a good clear out, restructure and edit. Walking the line between being respectful of the work of previous contributors and creating a page that is up to date, coherent and accurate is a tricky one to balance. The task felt overwhelming initially, so starting with small baby steps seemed to be the way to begin.

Once we got used to the system, it became easier to see where we might contribute and we got stuck in. There is still a lot of work to do. The cultural concerns section remains empty and there are some sections that need to be re-ordered for the page make sense. There are other sections that will probably need adding, and others need updating. For example, the separate page on “Sustainable clothing” adds to the general confusion and needs to be merged somehow with the “Sustainable fashion” one. And not least, not only does the English page need more global perspectives and voices on sustainable fashion, but as we worked we also noticed that the pages in non-English languages could be improved. We would encourage and support initiatives on editing these pages too.

Nevertheless, it was an exhilarating experience at times, adding knowledge-led analysis and citations into what for many is the primary source of information about the field. Not only that, but doing it as a collective effort, connecting with other Union signatories along the way, felt very rewarding. Having a task to complete together helped strengthened our bonds and commitment to bringing the UCRF manifesto alive. We are in the process of planning the next Wiki editathon…

Liz Parker & Otto von Busch