Sewing Box for the Future: Facilitating participatory fashion experiences to influence change

Jen Ballie (Lead / Corresponding author), Meredith More, Becca Clark

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This chapter presents ‘Sewing Box for the Future’, a live research project and pop-up exhibition with participatory resources developed in partnership with V&A Dundee and the University of Dundee. Using the idea of the sewing box as a metaphor, to raise awareness about diminishing sewing skills through exploration of participatory design in fashion, to identity strategies for prolonging the lifetime of everyday clothing. It argues for further research within the sphere of the ‘use phase’ of clothing by focusing on three themes: care, repair and customisation. The materiality of this project has proven to be a vital part supported by a Sewing Box for the Future toolkit, a resource with ten activity cards and resources for maintaining clothing, these critical artefacts use speculative narratives to enable individuals to re-imagine the possibilities for modifying clothing in their existing wardrobe. This research argues for a more human-centred approach to caring for our clothing to explore opportunities for extending their lifetime. Fashion and the clothing we wear are parts of the social fabric of our daily lives; we can use it to tell stories, to educate and upskill and to inspire new possibilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDesign Materials and Making for Social Change
    Subtitle of host publicationFrom Materials We Explore to Materials We Wear
    EditorsRebecca Earley, Rosie Hornbuckle
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9781003260356
    ISBN (Print)9781032168265
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


    • Fashion
    • Textiles
    • design
    • social innovation
    • material innovation


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