by Connie Ulasewicz
Chair, Family Interiors Nutrition & Apparel Department, San Francisco State University
The 6th International Fiber Recycling Symposium took place on the 7th and 8th of June in Manchester England at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Attendees included academics, manufacturers and students, with the intent of exchanging ideas and introducing innovative technologies. This symposium began as a partnership in 2007 between the University of Bolton (UK) Georgia Tech University (USA), and Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan).
One of the objectives of this 6th biannual symposium was to, “generate international cooperation and dialogue in the fibre recycling area.” My colleague Gail Baugh, author of The Fashion Designers Textile Directory, was a Keynote speaker sharing her years of experience working within her topic area on “The New Business Model for Textile & Apparel Industries.” My contribution was the unveiling of a co-directed film, “Towards Zero Textile Waste,” which you may view here https://vimeo.com/195514542.
This film is ground in the hope that given information and a greater understanding of the environmental impact of the production and care of fibers and textile products, people will choose to do “the right thing” with their purchases and creations.
Universities have a compelling responsibility to increase awareness and knowledge amongst students of their potential to be future leaders and professionals for creating an environmentally sustainable future. This film utilizes an experiential approach for exploring students’ perceptions of sustainability and environmental consciousness and their willingness to test and apply and adapt innovative methods of designing apparel by reusing discarded textiles.
The film created much dialogue amongst attendees and supported the need for continued outreach between education and industry.