Design Re.Lab: How Fashion Design Can Stimulate Social Innovation and New Sustainable Design

By Chiara Colombi, Federica Vacca and Paola Bertola.

Published by The International Journal of Design in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 1st, 2014 $US5.00

Today in fashion, the meaning of innovation not only refers to formal, technological and linguistic research, the current socio-political order requires a much more radical change in order to redefine the product’s values, setting up a different attitude to consumption. In recent years, design culture is referring to those codes not only to develop highly narrative contents, but also to stimulate innovation, searching for new languages, increasing the emotional dimension’s potentialities, and promoting new models of socio-economic development.
Referring to a design workshop directed by the authors in collaboration with some young Italian fashion designers and CORP India and Sui&Dhaga non-government organizations to support women from Mumbai slums, the paper presents a design activity aiming to reuse secondhand saris and the reinterpretation of textile craft techniques. The outcome is a collection of original textile objects produced in Mumbai and internationally distributed to create a micro-fashion sustainable business. The workshop was the expression of a new fashion design approach to stimulate social innovation supporting the active integration of socially excluded groups into the public economic life and new product values and consumption meanings for the international market, referring to local identities and traditional know how.

Keywords: Fashion, Cultural Processes, Product Identities, Sustainable Business, Design Workshop

The International Journal of Design in Society, Volume 7, Issue 4, August 2014, pp.47-61. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 1st, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1022.020KB)).

Prof. Chiara Colombi

Assistant Professor, INDACO Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Dr. Federica Vacca

Research Fellow, INDACO Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Prof. Paola Bertola

Full Professor, INDACO Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy