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The Social Power of Used Clothes: Mapping out Waste Streams from a Social Anthropological Perspective

Creative Innovation Across Disciplines Seminar Series

pile of clothes on floor near door

In this seminar from the School of Art & Design's Creative Innovation Across Disciplines Seminar Series, Heike Derwanz from the University of Oldenburg, Germany, will discuss surprising social practices around reusing clothes in a sustainable way.

  • From: Thursday 19 July 2018, 12 pm
  • To: Thursday 19 July 2018, 2 pm
  • Location: Newton 31, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FQ
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Event details


While traditional household waste is processed through a top-down planned waste infrastructure system, used clothes are managed in manifold ways. The consumer decides on a range of diverse practices (informal, economical, etc.), or deals with used clothes through traditional institutions such as recycling plants or NGOs. From a sustainability perspective, reusing clothes is the most efficient approach. But by mapping out the wide range of ethnographically accessed data, the notion of sustainability fills up with surprising social practices beyond economics or ecology. These will be explored and discussed during the seminar.


Prof Dr Heike Derwanz is professor of Material Culture Studies in educational settings at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. She researches urban textile practices in households and their embeddedness in city infrastructures. In her projects about everyday clothing in times of fast fashion, minimalism and other degrowth-practices, she is interested in social and economic practices of creative innovators and entrepreneurs. She edited the special issue of the 'Saving' the city: Collective low-budget organizing and urban practice’ for the journal Ephemera / theory and politics in organization.

Further Information

The seminar will be hosted by Professor Tim Cooper from the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, and will consist of a talk in Newton 31 (City Campus) followed by questions and discussion. This event is free to attend and registration is not required.

Refreshments will be available at 12 pm, and the talk will begin at 12:30 pm.

For any queries, please contact Dr Iryna Kuksa

Photo Credit: Prof Dr Heike Derwanz

Location details


Nottingham Trent University
50 Shakespeare Street

Past event

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