& Katie Hill
University of Wolverhampton, UK
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.