S4S – Designing a Sensibility for Sustainable Clothing


To find out more watch the S4S Project workshop films on our YouTube channel.

‘S4S – Designing a Sensibility for Sustainable Clothing’ is a ground breaking collaborative research project co-hosted by academics from the department of Politics at the University of Exeter’s Environment & Sustainability Institute (ESI), at the Cornwall Campus and the Fashion Theory department of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands. 

image: © Google maps

With major environmental concerns about the huge impact of the fashion industry’s production methods, as well as the amount of ‘fast fashion‘ clothing consumed and discarded to landfill, across the fashion industry and higher education sectors, positive solutions are being sought and developed.

“The value of unused clothing in wardrobes has been estimated at around £30 billion. It is also estimated £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year.”- source WRAP UK 

photo © Tim mitchell

Supported by the the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the S4S project has teamed up with community spaces, NGOs, local clothing brands, film-makers and members of the public to explore how we can contribute to finding solutions by encourage everyone to THINK, FEEL and ACT more sustainably in relation to the clothes we wear.

Photo © Nina Constable Media

Between February and October 2018 we have invited people in Cornwall and the West Midlands to join the S4S project as participants and take part in a series of practical textile-based workshops. Working with a partnership of community spaces, creative consultants, project participants, video-makers and academics the S4S participant workshops aim to ‘design a sensibility for sustainable clothing’. 

Photo © Nina Constable Media

From learning to spin yarn and embroider with gold thread to ‘un-knitting’ and up-cycling pre-loved garments, these expert-led workshops are allowing us to research if the development of creative practices through acquiring skills can help us adopt a more ethical and environmentally conscious approach to the way we consume clothes. 

We are documenting our participants journeys as they learn more about making and mending  clothes and fabric through interviews, ‘wardrobe surveys’, clothing diaries and reflective videos but the whole project is not just for them, it’s for you too. By clicking on the blue highlighted text you will be able to discover not only why it’s so necessary to change how clothing is manufactured and consumed but also how you can become part of the change.

Photo © Nina Constable Media

Here at S4S, we all agree that we love clothes, fashion and creativity, but we also want to take care of our environment and it’s inhabitants – we know you will agree. Therefore the S4S website is a place to share our findings with you as well as to engage wider participation from everyone to join us in the on-going conversation on how we can all THINK, FEEL and ACT more sustainably about what we wear.