Sustainability and the Social Fabric

Product ID 371

About Sustainability and the Social Fabric



While the topic of sustainability in textile manufacture has been the subject of considerable research, much of this is limited to a focus on materials and practices and their ecological impact. Padovani and Whittaker offer a unique exploration of the textile industry in Europe from the perspective of social sustainability, shifting the focus from the materiality of textile production to the industry's relationships with the communities from which the products originate. 

Featuring six in-depth case studies from design entrepreneurs, artisans and textile businesses around Europe, from Harris Tweed in Scotland to luxury woollen mills in Italy, Sustainability and the Social Fabric explores how new centres of textile manufacturing have emerged from the economic decline in 2008, responding creatively and producing socially inclusive approaches to textile production. Case studies each represent a different approach to social sustainability and are supported by interviews with industry leaders and comparisons to the global textile industry. Demonstrating how some companies are rebuilding the local social fabric to encourage consumer participation through education, enterprise, health and wellbeing, the book suggests innovative business models that are economically successful and also, in turn, support wider societal issues.

Table of contents



List of Illustrations
List of Contributors
1. Museums and the knowledge economy: developing competitive advantage for the future
2. Weaving a social structure : achieving specialist distinction  
3. Collaborative leadership, provenance and the power of place  
4. Enterprise and social value: responsible innovation in the denim industry  
5. Social enterprise, creative arts and community development for marginal or migrant populations  
6. Made in Italy: reclaiming social heritage and artisan know how




Sustainability and the Social Fabric is an engaging study that demonstrates to students and industry professionals how local and traditional artisanship can have a widespread impact. Moving beyond traditional notions of sustainability, the authors' intelligent and original arguments map thought-provoking alternative practices for fashion production.” –  Colleen Hill, Curator of Costume and Accessories, The Museum at FIT, New York, USA, 

Sustainability and the Social Fabric is an significant contribution to the growing body of literature that recognizes and interrogates the complexity of textile design and production within the context of current societal challenges.” –  Faith Kane, Massey University, New Zealand,


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