LASTING asks the question: How can the lifespans of consumer goods be increased?
The question is critical because evidence suggests that longer lasting products lead to less materials extraction, lower levels of pollution, and less energy use in all the phases of a product's life, including transportation.
Yet despite this, product longevity has been largely absent in the environmental discourse and public debate, nor does it figure on the top of the agendas of industries or private households. Indeed, the present system encourages replacement of existing goods with new products rather than maintaining, repairing or adjusting the current ones.
The task is to begin to decentre knowledge and practice of durability from a focus on the West. The focus of this part of the project is to explore perspectives on clothing durability from outside Europe and North America. This involves examining plural perspectives with guides from Africa, Asia, Australasia and Latin America. The work includes exploring how to use care as a key research practice and value to change how work is done.
LASTING: Sustainable prosperity through product durability
LASTING investigates durability as one of the most promising strategies towards more sustainable consumption.
Interdisciplinary Project Team
The project will generate interdisciplinary knowledge between the fields of social science and natural science to measure the significance of product durability. Moreover, it will unite businesses that focus on product durability, develop new ideas and prospects, and demonstrate how lifespans can be part of sustainable business models.
The interdisciplinary nature of the research is supported by a strong consortium from academia, two environmental organisation, and six industry partners. The project team for LASTING from Centre for Sustainable Fashion is Professor Kate Fletcher and Post-Doctoral Researcher, Anna Fitzpatrick
Projected project outcomes for LASTING include:
The provision of actions for durability
Strategies to reduce waste and promote sustainable growth with longer product life spans, and thereby contribute to a sustainable and resilient future for clothing and textiles, furniture, and household appliances.