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  • Laetitia Forst

Supporting the transition to sustainable fashion practices – the ReModelling Futures Method

photo of participants using the ReModelling Futures framework
Design Research Society (DRS22) participants using the ReModelling Futures framework

One of the key outcomes of the ReModelling Fashion project, is the ReModelling Futures Method – which aims to support a transition to sustainable fashion practices across the industry. It takes the form of worksheets and a guidebook available via our Online Resources. The ReModelling Futures Method was launched on 30 June 2022, at The Design Research Society (DRS) Conference in Bilbao.

ReModelling Fashion is part of the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT), a five-year industry-led project, which focusses on delivering sustainable innovation within the entire fashion and textile supply chain. ReModelling Fashion is one of the seven challenges of the programme, it focuses on developing design practices and business models for sustainability. It brings together researchers from University of the Arts London’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion, and from the Centre for Industrial Sustainability at the Institute for Manufacturing of the University of Cambridge.

The Remodelling Fashion project was led as a co-enquiry between academic researchers and industry. Discussion and workshops with small and large businesses, as well as with students produced a method to address sustainability from the very early stages of the design and business model development process.

In the fast-paced environment of fashion, designers rarely have the opportunity to consider the strategic importance of their day-to-day decisions in relation to future challenges. The ReModelling Futures Method, named to acknowledge its proven potential in multi-disciplinary contexts, embeds future thinking from the start of the creative and decision making process.

Using The ReModelling Futures Method

The framework is intended for:

  • Designers or team leaders wanting to create the space to explore the long-term vision of their business alongside and beyond the imperatives of current business.

  • Individuals and businesses wanting to see their sustainability actions focused less on symptoms and more on responding to causes relating to the fragility of earth systems.

  • Anyone who could benefit from visualising how their products and services interact with the world now and in an uncertain future.

The ReModelling Futures Concept Development Method can support designers and businesses in moving beyond designing inside set context toward designing of contexts as a dynamic framework to build resilience in the face of uncertainty. Users will be guided through the creation of future worlds, exploring the potential for regeneration in response to world-challenges, and to initiate product service system concepts that illustrate a transformation of design and business model practices. The framework is meant to be used in groups of any size including designers and other stakeholders across teams, with suppliers, customers, investors, across the business, as well as communities in the larger context of the business. The personal perspective of individuals is key to building comprehensive visions and concepts.

To mark the launch of the method at the DRS Conference we involved a group of design researchers from multiple disciplines. This was an opportunity to disseminate the ReModelling approach with a group of professionals who are at the forefront of change in design and design research, with the hope for future endorsement in courses and collaboration, beyond the UK.

The Remodelling Futures Method was created as part of the Remodelling Fashion project, one of the work streams of the Business of Fashion Textiles and Technology Creative Clusters project.


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