IFFTI 2020: Between Individual and Society. THE INDIVIDUAL


As researchers, practitioners, artists, and academics, we have an opportunity and responsibility to inspire positive change in our global, national, and local communities and most notably perhaps, our students. It is not surprising then that so many of the papers focus on how to teach social justice, sustainable practice, empathy, and action through fashion. A case in point is the award-winning paper from Kirstin C. Loos and Karen M. Bosch entitled ‘Teaching Sustainability: How Educators Can Impact the Industry’. It is a comprehensive study suggesting broad applications of a sustainable focus in education leads to a greater advocacy and involvement with fashion students and subsequent fashion industry professionals. Buddy Penfold and Carolyn Hardaker in ‘Developing a Responsible Culture: Aligning Fashion and Textile Education with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals’ offer a broad perspective of sustainable practices and methodology within undergraduate curriculum. Perhaps most importantly, the students themselves were incorporated into the process of building the curriculum, enabling a sense of self efficacy and long-term adoption by future industry professionals. Hui Tao and Ying Ying Wang in How Do Educators and Students Work for the Sustainable Development of China’s Fashion Industry examines the need of sustainability focused education in China as an acknowledgement of the incredible impact the fashion industry has had on the country’s environment, economy and worker populations and the desperate need to ameliorate those issues.

There are several papers which demonstrate teaching fashion students’ compassion and respect for diversity and inclusion. The paper by Justine Davidson and Cathy Chase, ‘Breaking Boundaries of the Traditional Curriculum to Develop Collaboration and Cognitive Diversity’ offer two case studies in which class projects using technology encouraged empathy, respect and understanding as a result of collaborative problem-solving activities. Chanjuan Chen and Kendra Lapolla report in ‘Stitched Together: Community Engagement for Undergraduate Student Learning in Supporting Refugee Women’ about pairing undergraduates and female refugees in a project which focused on empathy, self-efficacy, and empowerment in both groups that participated. Liz McClafferty writes in Working Towards Meaningful Change: A Student-Centered Approach Towards Diversity and Inclusivity within the Fashion Curriculum about the process of creating curriculum focused on inclusivity and diversity by modeling that very inclusivity and diversity of thought in the act of teaching. These new pedagogical practices offer essential steps in helping the next generation of leaders
achieve their goals.

An expansion of education for the greater good can be seen in the example of ‘Resurgence of Hope through Fashion Education in Prisons of India’ by Bela Gupta and Antonio Maurizio Grioli. The authors describe a project in which the teaching of fashion related skillsets were used to bring self-empowerment to female prisoners within the Indian prison system and highlights the positive impacts that promote a reduction of recidivism. The authors Lipsa Mohapatra, Goutam Saha, Sheetal Agrawal in ‘Design Intervention Through Permaculture and Social Change: Case Studies from Selected Indian Farming Sectors’ focused on the epidemic of cotton farmer suicides in India and the ability of permaculture design-based practice to support a sustainable future.

Corneliu Dinu Tudor Bodiciu discusses the pathways of engaging undergraduates in reexaminations of fit as it pertains to gender in ‘Dissolving Gender in Fashion Design Education’. In a slight turn of focus, Lily Lei Ye in Lines of Flight: a Deleuzo-Guattarian Exploration of Style as Resistance’ brings a rich discussion of students in Hong Kong who subvert traditional ideas of gender and consumption. These are fundamental steps in reimagining the status quo of who the fashion industry sells to and influences.

Browse the IFFTI 2020: Between Individual and Society. THE INDIVIDUAL Collections