The Lifetimes project, while modest in budget and timeframe, sought to tackle some large issues and glimpse the ecological future through the frame of appropriate lifetimes. Below are a series of recommendations that we would like to see central to future investigations in this, and related, fields of study.

Future investigations should:
  • continue to acknowledge that clothes are not only worn for practical reasons, but also experientially,
  • be based on the realisation that trends and symbolic transactions are omnipresent (whether or not we invite fashion willingly into our lives and wardrobes),
  • recognise the worst aspects of fashion,
  • celebrate the glorious side of fashion (which arguably shares some of the same characteristics as sustainability)
  • continue to show ways in which fashion can be compatible with an ecological future (for example by using it creatively, confidently and letting it be the beautiful butterfly it is),
  • sustain the use of metaphors (such as speed and rhythms used here) to help give new insight into the ecological future,
  • put the user centre stage, thereby exploring in more depth what happens to garments post purchase and continue looking at the motivations behind purchase, wear, maintenance and disposal of garments,
  • do more work on understanding the variety of emotions that garments evoke and especially how clothes become allies in our social interactions. We believe that the experiential and communication-related aspects of clothing and fashion are central to the ecological future. There is a lot of scope for making environmental communication more effective - it could speak the language of fashion,
  • draw together multi-disciplinary teams to investigate fashion consumption including representatives from design, production, laundry goods manufacture, detergent companies, experts in body issues, health and hygiene, recycling and reclamation bodies and of course consumers themselves,
  • consider the potential for offering fashion as a service- rather than product-based industry, so de-coupling meeting needs from material throughput. Could the industry work with the principle of nega(tive) demand?