Chapter 17: Designer as activist

‘We have to become not just stronger fish swimming against the stream, we have to change the current.’

James Gustave Speth

Activists believe in and practise vigorous, often direct, action to achieve social or political ends. For those designers actively engaging with the process of sustainability, their practice often follows a route alert to both economic and enviro-social goals, sometimes working to reconcile them, at other times trying to transform one with knowledge of the other, and at still others, holding the tension between these goals in order to foster change.

Fashion activists can work in many contexts, both inside and outside traditional fashion sector institutions. Working in mainstream industry, ...

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