25 March 2015

This Friday I’ll be contributing to a project in London exploring the notion of ‘resilience’ in the context of culture. A group of artists, designers and academics at the University of the Arts London are thinking about what a ‘culture of resilience’ would look like. How would we create a culture that makes us more resilient to the challenges of the 21st century? What is the role of artists and designers in these changing times?

For textile and fashion designers, deciding to think about your sustainability impacts is the first step towards a ‘better’ fashion and textile industry. Yet, sustainability is personal, as well as technical. You have to develop your own inner understanding of your values, and align your actions and professional activities with these values. One of the best ways to align yourself with your core values, is to work on mindfulness and your own psychological well-being. If we become more mindful, would we as designers learn to truly contribute positively to the fashion industry rather than continuing to feed an unsustainable and damaging industry? My ‘Sutra Stitching’ workshops are exploring these ideas, that have partly┬ácome out of my collaborations and conversations with my colleague at TED Becky Earley.

Becky’s project Shavasana Shirt will involve a workshop of designers and students who are led through a yoga and meditation session. I’ll be skyping into the workshop, leading the participants through some basic Kundalini yoga poses. While they move through the session, they will be making marks with inks onto their ‘paper’ yoga mats. The paper will then be used by Becky to print onto a second-hand shirt, and the shirt will then become a record of the session and will represent the ideas of mindfulness and ‘resilience’.