Clothing Sustainability is a multidisciplinary research group that focuses on creating knowledge that will support a more sustainable future for clothing design, consumption and culture. Members apply theoretical and practical knowledge from design and related disciplines to environmental and social sustainability, often integrating expertise in design with research frameworks drawn from the social sciences.
The group includes staff from the Fashion, Textile and Knitwear Design (FTK), and Fashion Marketing Management and Communication (FMMC) teams in the School of Art and Design, alongside staff from the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment and Nottingham Business School. They bring diverse and extensive knowledge, experience and resources to tackle the complex issues surrounding sustainability from different perspectives.
Members of the group actively embed sustainability into the curriculum by engaging in research-led teaching activities, supporting the University's commitment to contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015).
Key research themes
- clothing longevity, including emotional durability
- sustainable clothing, supply chain and global development challenges
- sustainable business models and clothing systems
- sustainable fashion management
- clothing design, culture and media
- sustainable fashion marketing and trends
- consumer understanding and perception of sustainable fashion / clothing
- social innovation, collaborative consumption and social practices
- craft-based practices
- mending and repair practices
- reuse, closed loop and upcycling practice
- e-textile waste
- interdisciplinary practices and pedagogy
- research to support sustainable clothing design education.
- Strategies to improve design and testing for clothing longevity, Defra, 2014-16.
- Clothing longevity protocol, WRAP, 2014
- Clothing longevity and measuring active use, WRAP, 2013 (with Ipsos MORI)
- Guidance on design for longevity of clothing, WRAP, 2012
- Clothing behaviour, WRAP, 2011 (with Ipsos MORI)
- Public understanding of sustainable clothing, Defra, 2008
We welcome applications to undertake a higher degree by research leading to the award of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil). Further information is available via email from the Doctoral School
Opportunities for established scholars and research students to visit for short-term research visits are also available; if you are interested in joining us, please get in touch by email to find out more.
NTU's research projects on clothing for WRAP have involved collaboration with a wide range of leading manufacturers and retailers, including those signed up to WRAP’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (to which NTU is also a signatory). We have also concluded research projects for Defra in close collaboration with industry partners, experts and advisors. We regularly work in partnership with other research organisations, including Ipsos MORI, Oakdene Hollins, MADE-BY and JRA Associates.
For academic and general enquiries, please contact the Head of the Research Group, Professor Tim Cooper by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 4329. For further information on business collaborations, please contact Chris Davison, College Business Development Manager, by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8215.
Professor Tim Cooper is Head of the research group. Contributing Editor of Longer Lasting Products (Gower, 2010), his research interests are multidisciplinary, embracing design, consumer behaviour, public policy and environmental ethics. He has managed several clothing research projects funded by Defra and WRAP.
Angharad McLaren is the Sustainable Clothing Research Coordinator. She is also a Lecturer in Textile Design and was Research Fellow on the Defra funded project: Strategies to improve design and testing for clothing longevity (2014-16).
- Mary-Anne Ball
- Dr Naomi Braithwaite
- Dr Vanessa Brown
- Stella Claxton
- Professor Tom Fisher
- Alexandra Hanford
- Dr Dorothy Hardy
- Helen Hill
- Dr Alex Hiller
- Katie Holbrook
- Michelle Hughes
- Professor Anthony Kent
- Dr Sarah Kettley
- Julia Kininmonth
- Sarah Lewington
- Lee Mattocks
- Dr Lynn Oxborrow
- Anna Piper
- Claire Preskey
- Emma Prince
- Juliana Sissons
- Dr Kath Townsend
- Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd
- Lorraine Warde
Publications by members of the Clothing Sustainability Research Group include reports from previous projects (see Projects) and recent conference papers, journals and book chapters, including:
Goworek, H., Fisher, T., Cooper, T., Woodward, S. and Hiller, A. (2013) Consumers’ attitudes towards sustainable fashion: clothing usage and disposal. In: Gardetti, M.A. and Torres, A.L. (eds.) Sustainability in Fashion and Textiles, Sheffield: Greenleaf, pp.376-392.
Goworek, H., Fisher, T., Cooper, T., Woodward, S., and Hiller, A. (2012). The Sustainable Clothing Market: An evaluation of potential strategies for UK retailers, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management 40 (12), pp.935-955.
Goworek, H., McLaren, A., Cooper, T., Oxborrow, L., Hill, H. and Claxton, S. (2016) The impact of consumer attitudes on sustainable product development strategies: The case of clothing longevity, Thriving in Turbulent Times, British Academy of Management conference, Newcastle, 6-8 September.
McLaren, A., Goworek, H., Cooper, T., Oxborrow, L., and Hill, H., (2016). The effect of consumer attitudes on design for product longevity: The case of the fashion industry. In: P. Lloyd & E. Bohemia, eds., Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking, Volume 10, pp 3831-3846, DOI 10.21606/drs.2016.XXX
Oxborrow, L., and Claxton, S. (2016). Extending clothing lifetimes: an exploration of design and supply chain challenges. In: P. Lloyd & E. Bohemia, eds., Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking, Volume 10, pp 3815-3830, DOI 10.21606/drs.2016.XXX
Claxton, S., Cooper, T., Hill, H. and Holbrook, K. (2015). Opportunities and challenges of new product development and testing for longevity in clothing. In Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE) Conference Proceedings, 17-19 June - Nottingham, UK. Edited by T. Cooper, N. Braithwaite, M. Moreno, G. Salvia. Published by Nottingham Trent University: CADBE. Pp. 62-68. ISBN 978-0-9576009-9-7.
Cooper, T., Hughes, M. and Claxton, S. (2015). From rag trade to retail: garment failure and the potential for sustainable fashion. In Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE) Conference Proceedings, 17-19 June - Nottingham, UK. Edited by T. Cooper, N. Braithwaite, M. Moreno, G. Salvia. Published by Nottingham Trent University: CADBE. Pp. 73-80. ISBN 978-0-9576009-9-7.
McLaren, A., Oxborrow, L., Cooper, T., Hill, H. and Goworek, H. (2015). Clothing longevity perspectives: exploring consumer expectations, consumption and use. In Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE) Conference Proceedings, 17-19 June - Nottingham, UK. Edited by T. Cooper, N. Braithwaite, M. Moreno, G. Salvia. Published by Nottingham Trent University: CADBE. Pp. 229-235. ISBN 978-0-9576009-9-7.
Oxborrow, L., Claxton, S., Cooper, T.H. and Hill, H. (2015). Product development and supply: help or hindrance to clothing longevity? In Product Lifetimes And The Environment (PLATE) Conference Proceedings, 17-19 June - Nottingham, UK. Edited by T. Cooper, N. Braithwaite, M. Moreno, G. Salvia. Published by Nottingham Trent University: CADBE. Pp. 264-269. ISBN 978-0-9576009-9-7.
Cooper, T., Goworek, H., Fisher, T., Woodward, S. and Hiller, A. (2013) Excessive speed / short lives, Insights into consumer attitudes and behaviour towards clothing lifetimes, European Round Table on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ERSCP) conference, Istanbul, 4-7 June.
Cooper, T. (2013) Comprehension, care and change: Is progress towards sustainable clothing inevitable? Open University Sustainable Clothing workshop, Milton Keynes, 8 May.
Saicheua, V., Knox, A. and Cooper, T. (2012) Sustainability in Clothing Supply Chain – Implications for Marketing, Proceedings of the 37th Annual Macromarketing Conference, Berlin, Germany, 13-16 June, pp. 284-307.
Goworek, H., Fisher, T., Cooper, T., Woodward, S., and Hiller, A. (2012) Sustainable clothing consumption: Exploring the attitude-behaviour gap, International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility conference, Nottingham, 26 April.
Cooper, T. (2012) Product Longevity, Network Conference on Product Life Extension: Knowledge Transfer between Clothing and Consumer Electronics, National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), Oslo, 27-28 March.
Saicheua, V., Cooper, T. and Knox, A. (2011) Public Understanding Towards Sustainable Clothing and the Supply Chain, Fashion Colloquia, London College of Fashion, 21 September.
Goworek, H. and Cooper, T. (2011) An exploration of own brand retailers’ perspectives on sustainable consumption of clothing, Emerging Issues in Uncertainty and Ethical Consumption, University of Glasgow workshop, 13 June.
Cooper, T., Fisher, T., Hiller, A., Goworek, H. and Woodward, S. (2010) Excessive speed / Short lives: Attitudes to clothing longevity and disposal Sustainability in Design: NOW! Challenges and Opportunities for Design Research, Education and Practice in the XXI Century, LENS (Learning Network on Sustainability) conference, Bangalore, India, 29 September-1 October.
Hiller, A., Fisher, T., Cooper, T., Woodward, S., and Goworek, H. (2009) Public understanding of sustainable clothing: implications for social marketers, Academy of Marketing conference, Leeds, UK, 7-9 July.
Goworek, H., Hiller, A., Fisher, T., Cooper, T. and Woodward, S. (2009) The sustainable clothing market: pragmatic strategies for UK fashion retailers. Academy of Marketing conference: Putting Marketing in its Place, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, 7-9 July.
Fisher, T., Cooper, T., Woodward, S., Hiller, A. and Goworek, H. (2008) The UK public’s understanding of sustainable clothing: habits and knowledge, Innovations in Textile and IT Industries, Serampore, India, December.
More may be found by clicking on the names of individual members of the group