The association of fashion with rapid technological advancement and extensive consumption, spurred by rapidly changing trends and dominated by commercial motivations has contributed to its undertone of transience. The erosion of traditional institutions and cultures and the disruption of the harmony between environment and the human existence forebodes an unsustainable future. However, in recent times there is a perceptible shift in the focus of fashion from business considerations to a more responsible attitude towards sustainability concerns. Slow design, green production processes, waste generation and disposal systems, management of end to end solutions and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives with mindfulness towards ecological fragility are being incorporated by the design community and the industry.

Fashion, as a signifier of societal change, can stimulate contemporary articulations on the dialectics of tradition and modernity in the clothing, textile and craft sectors. The pedagogy of fashion and design education in synergizing materials and techniques plays a tripartite role in design, production and consumption.

The theme of the conference 'Rediscovering Culture: Transforming Fashion'aims to initiate conversation on fashion, culture, textiles, crafts and sustainability by providing an interdisciplinary platform to share perspectives and practice-led research experiences on the issues and concerns, challenges and possibilities of changing existing fashion practices. Trans-global cultural narratives may enable relevant issues to transcend the regional to take on global significance. Some pertinent questions that the Conference seeks to discuss are

  • Can rediscovery of regional craft cultures hold the key to sustainability and empowerment?
  • Can the symbiosis of environment and human knowledge-skills engender new design definitions and experiences?
  • Is green technology the solution to sustainable apparel production systems?
  • How can the hand-made revitalize markets?
  • How can fashion education become catalyst for rediscovering culture?

Research papers / thematic posters were invited on the following topics under the sub-themes:

I. Cultural Transformation by Design
  • Tradition and contemporaneity of fashion
  • Redefining culture through craft revival
  • Co-creation
  • Craft as luxury
II. Tech-novation
  • Green manufacturing
  • Digital technologies
  • Compliance and sustainability standards
III. Business Models
  • Innovative business structures
  • Fair Trade Practices
  • Digital retail for rural producers
IV. Fashion Education
  • Pedagogy of craft-fashion linkages
  • Inculcating value for heritage
  • Experiential learning

All abstracts and conference papers have been double-blind peer reviewed by competent reviewers. Authors of selected abstracts were invited to submit full papers.

The paper presentations for the conference have been organised under the following sub-themes:

    1. Altering the script:Cultural metamorphosis
    2. Co-creation
    3. Sustainability Pathways
    4. Crafting Identities
    5. Synergies in Design
    6. Tradition and Contemporaneity in Fashion
    7. Emerging Narratives of change
    8. Pedagogy of Craft-Fashion Linkages
    9. Fashion education
    10. Techno-vation
    11. Sustainable business Practices
    12. Global Business models
    13. Innovating Digital Retail
    14. Fashion Retail

All the papers presented at the conference will be published. Live streaming of the technical sessions and keynote addresses for the benefit of the students of NIFT in various campuses across India will be arranged.