It is well understood that our fundamental human needs are deeply and
inextricably co-dependent. New models of prosperity, new ways of feeding
ourselves, sheltering ourselves, and clothing ourselves —and new ways of
expressing ourselves socially and culturally—must be based on holistic and
system-oriented research and action.

To focus exclusively on economically sustainable, or only on environmentally sustainable,
or just socially sustainable improvements in the design of the value chain of our food, water, built environment,
or our fashion and textile industries, without understanding and connecting the sustainability goals within a larger
reality is not an effective enough approach to solve our global crises.

THS and LCF also share the belief that such a process should also put our current industrial and financial mainstream economic system under scrutiny, as it is based almost exclusively on large-scale production of quantity--not quality--and on speculative highest profitability expectations. Truly sustainable production models for the generation of new economic engines and of better living fashions can be designed if we embed those goals into alternative macroeconomic and microeconomic prosperity models.


Workshop Purpose

For this reason LCF and THS activated at the Biella workshop a discussion and an international and cross-disciplinary cooperation network. By starting common initiatives, educational programmes and research projects, this cooperation network will foster and explore ways in which the fashion and textile industry can contribute to sustainability by:

  • being an integral part of the value creation of a new “food-shelter-clothes” system;
  • contributing, as a powerful cultural driver, to not only changing our actual consumerist culture into more responsible forms of consumption, but also towards more sustainable lifestyles and styles of thought;
  • becoming a new and alternative economic engine of entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and microentrepreneurship;
  • learning from and sharing with other practices' experiences and attested knowledge.

THS and LCF asked the Fondazione Pistoletto CITTADELLARTE to be their partners for the co-conception and co-organization of this one evening plus two-day workshop that took place at Cittadellarte from October 15 to 17, 2010.

Cittadellarte is a new form of art firm that combines creativity and enterprise, education and production, ecology and architecture, politics and spirituality, food and fashion. An organism aimed at activating a responsible transformation of society necessary and urgent at a local and global level. It has initiated the Project Cittadellarte Fashion Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend (B.E.S.T.), a platform of 70 yarn and textiles manufacturers, several fashion designers, buyers and institutions concerned with sustainability in the world of fashion.

Cittadellarte, LCF, and THS invited delegates of several institutions, organizations, networks and enterprises whose activities, goals and purposes have a high affinity with the intent of this common project. The aim of “The Design of New Prosperity and Better Lives” workshop and network is to bring together leading experts from the areas of:

  • global sustainability in agriculture (food and textiles)
  • the built environment
  • design of sustainable lifestyles
  • design of micro-entrepreneurship
  • sustainable finance
  • art for social change
  • fashion and textile business
  • textile and fashion education and research
  • intergovernmental agencies


Workshop Aspirations

Create an international trans-disciplinary cooperation community that shares knowledge and joins effort to create action-research projects and proposals for the design of a new prosperity that is based on the core hypothesis that the conflicts and competitions created by our basic human needs (food/water, clothing, shelter) can be transformed into synergies and cooperation.

  • Consider the textile and fashion worlds' current/better/new formulas of ethical and environmental fashion vis-à-vis the four pillars of sustainability: environmental responsibility, economic health, social equity, and cultural vitality.
  • Understand the above in relationship to the core hypothesis.
  • Build/utilize a humanistic agenda for the designing of new prosperity, better life models and sustainable global development.
  • Consider how to bring the above into the mainstream of fashion education and research and the fashion and textile industries.

Produce research proposals based on the synergistic opportunities in the fulfillment of our food/water, shelter, and clothing needs, which study, explore, conceptualize and design:

  • new ways of feeding, sheltering and clothing ourselves (in fact new ways of nurturing, caring, protecting, and expressing ourselves socially and culturally);
  • production and use models for better ways of living and the generation of new economic engines within alternative macroeconomic and microeconomic prosperity models;
  • cultural and aesth-ethical models that go beyond the actual "value-chain" model and can sustain a birth-to-birth-value-loop within a holistic notion of sustainability and prosperity.


The workshop proceedings were video recorded in order to substantiate the direction and substance of future initiatives.
Videos can be seen here »


sponsores The University of Borås The Swedish School of Textiles