Durability, design and enduring use

The painful, pressing reality of planetary boundaries confers limits to production and consumption of fashion. It also confers an obligation to experiment, as individuals and as an industry, with exuberance and diversity to do more with the things we already have. Durability is an essential part of a society with a different relationship to growth, and of the craft of use, for fundamental to the on-going use of a piece is its ‘lastingness’. Such lastingness may even work to slow consumption of replacement items; by extending the potential for satisfaction with existing pieces, no additional ones are required. Yet the relationship between enduring use and durability is scrambled. The repeated use of things, like clothes, is dependent on many factors. In the fashion context, a set of psycho-social factors render a materials approach to durability a weak force in determining whether something continues to be used.

Product life extension is nested system within bigger a bigger system of skills, competences, garment-related doings and beings. Here durability of a garment’s materiality – its fabrics, construction and design – is associated with agency and capabilities.

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