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  • Prof. Dilys Williams

Agents for change

When we met the team at Nike and they told us about their commitment to success through a contribution to the resilience of the world’s natural resources, rather than using them up as most of our industry is doing, we got really excited. 18 months down the line and we’ve had the most incredible opportunity to work with a team of supreme listeners and totally Gladwellesque experts in the implications of 75,000 materials!

The most critical element of our collaboration, working with Nike’s creativity led sustainable business innovation team, our designers, students, researchers and tutors, has been the ability to apply this knowledge to exemplify the design ethos of those designers through a sharing of ideas and knowledge. This is not usual fashion practice. We’ve created a healthy ecosystem of collaboration and competition – but always with co-operation. We’ve also got over the idea of an inanimate object being sustainable or not. Its how it is created and used that defines it’s ecological and commercial viability, but with the power of knowledge about what designers are looking at, they can make better decisions about which materials to use, for what means.

A product is the manifestation of a series of relationships and when individual distinctions dynamically connect, we create the otherwise unimaginable. The MAKING app has been developed through ways of ‘making’ New design methods and an incredible set of relationships borne out of mutual respect, trust, curiosity and tenacity. This is just the start – the Nike design teams, a group of students from across LCF and designers with whom we’ve worked on London Style and through MA Fashion and the Environment now have the insights from the app as part of their daily work – but its open to everyone. It’s on the apple store, look for MAKING. It allows you to focus on better design inspired through new knowledge. The app shows the way to start and the data behind it, accessed through opens up a labyrinth of incredible information. It’s not static and will be as good as those who contribute to it. Nike have set up the conditions, now its up to every one to make their contribution to keep it moving towards a new definition of progress, where we co-operate to make the right moves in the right direction. The party at 1948 on Tuesday night was to celebrate this exploration and open it to the world as a new perspective on data and design and how they talk to each other. Its not a how to, or a checklist – it’s a way to explore a greater diversity in design, a greater relevance and a greater grounding from which to fly…. in synchronicity.

Find out more about the Nike Making app and the launch.

Dilys Williams – Director, Centre for Sustainable Fashion


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