Our satisfaction with how clothing fits our needs and our bodies has traditionally been ignored when sustainability is discussed. We argue that focusing on improved design to enable fit for a greater range of bodies is a key to a better and more sustainable future.
To reduce the vast quantity of ill-fitting garments produced and sent to landfills, increase customer satisfaction and well-being, cater to our changing bodies and ways of living, and address cultural and physiological diversity, we demand that:
- garments be adapted to our needs and abilities,
- the pursuit of aesthetics not compromise comfort,
- apparel be designed to respond to how bodies occupy space (anatomical components, postures, and daily activities),
- styles be purpose-made to address freedom of movement,
- garments cater to the physiology of different age groups,
- better fit be realized through cut rather than through the use of stretchy, rapidly deteriorating elasticized fabrics,
- garments be made to increase or decrease by one size as our own bodies constantly transform hourly and yearly,
- garments be conceived to be worn in different ways,
- more current science-based anthropometric data be used for standards and for size increments,
- a governmentally-mandated global sizing system be enforced, and
- garment size labels for different body types be based on key measurements.
These design interventions are forms of social action that can improve the lives of everyone. People should not feel bad about their bodies because of ill-fitting clothing. Fashion designers and manufacturers can better address the needs of our bodies by moving beyond the dress forms and pattern systems created nearly eighty years ago. In doing so, they can address a variety of body types, globalized consumer demand, use of modern support garments, changing deportment, and the impacts of nutrition and exercise regimens. New data-driven product design can ultimately affect the health of our planet and be a force for good.
* * *
April 12 to September 13, 2017
Dr. Anne Bissonnette, Josée Chartrand, Meg Furler, Yara Sayegh and Patricia Siferd co-curators as part of the graduate course "Material Culture and Curatorship" (HECOL 668).
Cite this page (bibliography):
Bissonnette, Anne, and Josée Chartrand, Meg Furler, Yara Sayegh, Patricia Siferd. “The Human Ecology Fashion Design Manifesto." Misfits: Bodies, Dress and Sustainability, Exhibitions, Clothing and Textiles Collection Web site, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, April 12, 2017. [INSERT URL].