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Fast Forward: Fast & Light Fashion, Mistra

2015 – 2019

Could our clothes be produced, worn and recovered to balance fashion with sustainability?


The Fast Forward concept explores alternative modes of production and use for a sustainable 'fast fashion' application. LCA advantages are enabled through lighter material choices; nonwoven fabric production; no launder; clear routes to recovery (designed-in at the outset); redistributed manufacturing systems. A sliding scale of 'speed' from ultra-fast forward (shortest-life scenario) through to a more accepted length of use with adaptations to production processes and end of life.

This offer amplifies the opposite approach of designing slow and enduring pieces to better understand the full spectrum of challenges from fast to slow fashion.

Materials have been specifically developed for the project in collaboration with scientific partners, and processes imagined as mass automated systems.

For this version of fast fashion to be complementary to durable quality products, industry must shift profit-making activity from the one-off sale of goods to gain value from the circuit of material flow or service based models.

These concepts evolve through multiple lifetimes over a 50 year timeframe (in order to provide a useful comparison to the slow proposals) but rather than change over time as a product, this story reflects the idea of 'material longevity' with multiple loops of efficient recovery at the heart of the sustainability focus. We see a great opportunity to mimic the qualities of transient cycles in nature, to provide the nutrients for an ecology of fashion.

Research Team:

The Fast-Forward exhibit is the work of Professor Emeritus Kay Politowicz and Dr Kate Goldsworthy, at the Centre for Circular Design (CCD), in collaboration with Dr HJalmar Granberg, Scientist at RISE Bloeconomy, Stockholm. Llfecycle Insights came from Sweden-based experts Professor Greg Peters (Chalmers), Dr Gustav Sandin, Dr Bjorn Spak (RISE) and Dr Sandra Roos (RISE:Swerea IVF). Material testing and consumer perception was conducted at RISE by Tatjana Karpenja and Siv Lindberg. CCD LDOC Post Doctorate Researcher Dr. Helen Paine provided research into industry mapping and commercial finishing processes for scaling up.

See below for related research stories:

Paper Leather Jacket

Pulp-It Paper Fashion

Laser-Line Mono-T

Read the project report here Circular design researchers in residence

The future of fashion: Pulp-It, V&A