Design is where all the elements of the life cycle converge. Here a designer can plan for the environmental and social impacts of their garments throughout the lifecycle.
She or he can carefully and ethically source textiles and trims, reduce waste throughout the design process, design garments that can last longer, or that can be disassembled at end of life, or garments that can be 100% close-loop recycled.
Perhaps the garments can be modular, transformable, repairable, or designed for many lives. Designers may not design garments at all, but rather design product service systems in which users engage differently with clothing (clothing libraries, alteration and re-modelling services).
These are only a few examples of ways in which fashion designers are already challenging their own processes and ideas: design for zero-waste, slow design, design for disassembly.
Where does the designer’s responsibility for the garment begin and end?
Is the design ‘classic’ in design or based on short-term trends?
How long will the garment last?
How can garment inputs and outputs be managed to reduce waste?
Should the garment be designed in the first place?