top of page

Local Wisdom

Exploring ongoing maintenance and usership of clothes as part of a post-growth fashion sector, bringing together almost 500 stories showing practices of active use of clothing.

kate interviewing a member of community

A five year research project bringing together almost 500 stories showing practices of active use of clothing from three continents to present a changed material- and social- narrative for fashion beyond shopping for new pieces. These stories highlight the ‘Craft of Use’ and represent a view of fashion beyond the market and the market’s purpose. The project also uses them as the point of departure for design work that seeks to amplify usership of existing goods rather than the purchase of new ones, through new design processes, business models and approaches. 

Craft of Use 

Drawing upon the stories and images of practices of use gathered through ‘community photoshoots’, Local Wisdom worked with an international network of partners in the UK, USA, Canada, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand (chosen because they are high-consuming nations) to examine the creative actions and ideas, which rarely make it onto catwalks or business agendas, as potential agents of change in tackling some of the problems we face as a global community. 


The work started from the simple idea that things need tending and using no less than buying and creating and the ideas and practices it showcased diversified the narrative about fashion and sustainability from what happens in design studios and supply chains pre-purchase to also take into account what happens in real lives, everyday experience and households. 


Explore the more of the project’s findings via Craft of Use.

Project Outcomes

Project Team

  • Kate Fletcher, Principal Investigator 

  • Katelyn Toth-Fejel, Project Co-ordinator 

International partners: 

Contact for the project 

Professor Kate Fletcher, Professor of Sustainability Design & Fashion and Principle Investigator 


bottom of page