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Designing for Active Lives of Clothes

More than 2 days

Individual / Group / Artefact- / material-driven



This activity focuses on personal experiences of the use phase driven by garments as a material object. The intention is to provide insights and foster a discussion on how to reduce the volume of clothing production and acquisition. Owning large volumes of clothing potentially leads to the possession of garments that are never worn, and thus results in wasted recourses. To minimise waste created in the textile industry, it is preferable to make full use of the garments we own. This activity illuminates weekly needs in relation to clothing, and the preferences we have for the clothes we wear.

How do we design for a longer and more active life of clothing?

Links to Pillar(s)

Cultural - Economic - Environmental - Social



Ask every student to select one outfit to wear for a week and to document their individual experiences in a diary. The following questions can be used as a guideline: 

  • Does your outfit match your needs?

  • What did you need and why?

  • How did you experience your needs being, or not being met?

  • What were the pros and cons of the individual items of your outfit?


Each student uses their individual documentation to present their experiences to the group. 


Hereafter the students can create a capsule collection upon their findings.

This Activity Links To
  • Make a hand-out document with questions to support the students' reflection of their experience.

  • The creation of visual presentation of findings and insights.

Suggested Readings

Woodward, S. 2020. Material methods: researching and thinking with things. London, Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications. (Chapter 2, Orienting yourself to things)

Laitala, K., Klepp, I.G., & Beverly, H. 2018. “Does Use Matter? Comparison of Environmental Impacts of Clothing Based on Fiber Type” 10. (2524)

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