Jack's jumper: Designing a sensibility for sustainable clothing communities

IFFTI 2019

Paper 1

Fiona Hackney
& Katie Hill

University of Wolverhampton, UK

Clare Saunders

University of Exeter, UK

Jack's jumper: Designing a sensibility for sustainable clothing communities

Jack’s Jumper is a short film co-produced by an emergent community of participant researchers and film-makers R&A Collaborations as part of S4S Designing a Sensibility for Sustainable Clothing, an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research project. The need to improve the sustainability of fashion has been widely noted by academics, activist campaigns and policy makers. In this project the authors combine arts and social science methods, including film making, to develop a methodology for pro-environmental behaviour change and sustainable fashion through, literally and metaphorically, making a new relationship with clothes. The paper outlines the aims and purpose of the project and its methods, which include fashion design workshops designed to mimic phases of the lifecycle of clothing (making fibre and fabric, pattern cutting, mending, modifying, repurposing and clothes), films, wardrobe audits, clothing diaries and surveys. It focuses on the series of over twenty short films, including Jack’s Jumper, to consider how they might function not only as reflective devices for those involved in the project and emotional prompts for future action, but also as an affective means of building and developing a sustainable fashion sensibility among wider audiences, and the role of aesthetics and emotion in this. As such, we argue that creative participatory fashion design practices are potentially an important tool for generating a sensibility of sustainability and therefore for informing policy on behaviour change.


Professor Fiona Hackney

Professor Fiona Hackney FRSA is Professor of Fashion Theory at University of Wolverhampton. Her research focuses on sustainable fashion, interwar women’s magazines, social design, gender and design, crafting and critical making, material heritage, health and wellbeing. She leads the Material Theories and Practices research group in the Faculty of Art. Recent publications include a co-edited collection on interwar women’s magazines for Edinburgh University Press (2018) and she is currently working on a monograph, Women’s Magazines and the Feminine Imagination: Opening Up a New World for Women in Interwar Britain (Bloomsbury 2019). She has contributed many articles and chapters to scholarly publications, and served as principal investigator and co-investigator on funded research projects.


Katie Hill

Katie Hill is the research assistant for the Arts and Humanities Research Council project S4S Designing a Sensibility for Sustainable Clothing at University of Wolverhampton and lectures in contextual studies for design, user research methods and community engagement.

Professor Clare Saunders

Professor Clare Saunders is the Principal Investigator for the S4S project. Based in Cornwall at the Environment & Sustainability Institute on the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus, Clare is Professor of Politics in the College of Social Science and International Studies, SSIS.