Fashion as Material

Authored by: Lynda Grose

Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415828598
eBook ISBN: 9780203519943
Adobe ISBN: 9781134082957


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Materials both shape the world we make and reflect the way we view that world. All materials are inextricably linked—to each other and to the natural, social and cultural domains—through a complex of deep patterns, networks, balances and cycles. Designing with the artisan co-operative Sna Jolobil in Chiapas, Mexico, it was evident that the weavers understood these relationships tacitly—the rhythm and speed of back-strap-loom technology, the fabric width, symbols and ornament, the people themselves, have all co-evolved through a profound sense of place and being-in-the-world (Morris and Foxx, 1988). However, in our modern, global economic system, we experience materials quite differently, as inert substances extracted from the earth in kilograms and barrels, swiftly transformed into units for sale. More complex interrelationships are glimpsed only sometimes—usually when shocks in the system occur.

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