The fashion sector is reputed to be the sixth most significant polluter on the planet. In 2017 an EU ‘Action Plan’ aimed to promote a radical shift from a reliance on conventional (price driven) manufacturing to one that is more socially and environmentally sustainable through more agile and customer driven approaches to production.
Tavistock Institute of Human Relations was part of a team evaluating The Textile and Clothing Business Labs (TCBL) project, an example of this new approach. These Labs are spaces in which fashion industry actors can freely experiment with new ways of designing, making and producing. Our work drew on, and integrated, theories on complexity, ecosystems and large scale change. By engaging in TCBL we found that fashion industry actors felt empowered, energised, and motivated to enact change in a variety of ways. This led to the TCBL Foundation and a community of stakeholders working to create a more sustainable textile and clothing sector.