DRESS FOR SUCCESS: Professor Helen Storey, of the Center for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion, is helping to address climate change with a digital dress.
Storey used a tent gifted to her by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and fitted it with digital data displays that clock the effects of climate change with the aim of fueling discussion on the topic.
It will be showcased at London’s St. Pancras International station, to coincide with the start of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. Storey has also produced a film.
The use of the tent symbolizes some of the project’s core values, such as the importance of nurturing and safeguarding generations to come. “We wanted it to be a powerful symbol of what it means to be human and the precarious nature of our existence,” said Storey.
Using a fashion piece to discuss such a key environmental issue can draw people’s attention to a topic that would otherwise seem too difficult to decipher, added Storey. “When fashion and clothes are used as a medium to convey complex scientific ideas, people have an openness, ease and curiosity that they might not otherwise have when looking at a data sample. Fashion can do much more than sell stuff and look good.”
Britain’s Met weather and climate office, in association with a team of global scientists, has provided the data displayed on the piece.
Studying the data alerted Storey to the enormous scale of the issue. “The most shocking moment for me was when I realized just how little of our world will be left unaffected by climate change by 2084,” she said.
The climate change digital dress is the first phase of Dress for Our Time. Professor Storey will be looking for feedback on social media to define the project’s next chapters.
“I am looking forward to getting feedback from the piece through our social media channels — #Dress4OurTime — because this will help shape where the project goes next. I am also particularly interested in addressing the movement of people across the globe,” she said.