Fashion design has a strong emphasis on surface and the provision of instant solutions. It is created, presented and sold for the imaginary moment before time and everyday use enter and change the piece. But while garments may be sold as a product, they are lived as a process. The craft of use calls into being a contingent, complex, and dynamic role for design influenced by the people who use them. This involves recognising a broad set of creative actions, ideas and practices associated with using clothes shaped by a fusion of body, mind, habit, technique, stories and the garment itself. It necessitates new roles for designers as facilitators of change and not just as creators of material goods.
Adaptive use is the destiny of many garments – though rarely is the subject taught in design schools. The craft of use introduces the dimensions of time, use and user knowledge and skills into the creation of a garment; for things need tending no less than creating. The craft of use explores fashion as the product of complex, dynamic relationships evolving over time. New garments should be judged not for what they are; but for what they are capable of becoming. For the self-reliance and individual agency they promote.