Fashion, Sustainability & Design

Textiles can signify our local and global connections to the natural environment. How can we in the 21st century actively care about the implications of materialism, waste, and style trends? Textiles are often made as expressions of love and can be powerful, personal manifestations of one’s sense of self, yet the conundrum of socially responsible use and reuse persists.

For the theme of Fashion, Sustainability & Design and in collaboration with our Guest Programmer Nehal El-Hadi we are joined by Tanya Théberge and Anika Kozlowski. In our online program Recycling in Fashion: Nehal El-Hadi with Tanya Théberge and Anika Kozlowski Tanya shares her journey in fashion design that started off by designing swimsuits for bodybuilding competitions. Anika reminds us of the similarities between our everyday fashion choices and the choices we make with regard to our food. Nehal then asks us to think about the ways in which textile waste is designed into our systems of consumption. 

In The Future of Textiles: Miranda Smitheram elaborates on her research that aims to shift the focus away from human-centric designs and actions and suggests that we understand ourselves in relation to non-human elements. Miranda believes that we will be able to give and receive care for all the elements around us in a different way if we consider non-human relationships as equally valid as human relationships.

In Slow Fashion: Nehal El-Hadi with Caroline Mangosing of Vinta Gallery the meaning of sustainability is discussed in connection to slow fashion, accountability, fair labour practices, cultural heritage, and identity. Caroline takes an “heirloom fashion design” approach and prioritizes cultural sustainability of the designs and wellbeing of the makers in her business practice.  

↓ Image | Woman’s Bonnet, Canada, 1890 – 1940; Wool, cotton lining, glass beads, buttons; Hand-sewn, beaded; 26 x 25 cm; T97.0071

01. Meet Our Guest Programmer

This image shows a seated female-presenting figure , shown from the waist up in front of a white curtain with light coming through. They have dark hair in a low bun, glasses and is wearing a black shirt or dress, with their hands crossed on top of their lap.

Nehal El-Hadi

Editor, Journalist, Researcher

Studio Magazine Editor in Chief Nehal El-Hadi is an editor, journalist and researcher based in Toronto. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience, Nehal’s interdisciplinary work has appeared in journalistic, academic, literary and art gallery publications, and is forthcoming in several anthologies and edited collections. Themes explored in her writing include the relationships between virtual and material spaces, the agency of digital objects, and gendered and racialised online experiences. Her short film Blaxites (2019) was commissioned by the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queens University and is being used to teach about the implications of technology use. Nehal has a Ph.D. in Planning from the University of Toronto and is a Visiting Scholar at York University’s City Institute. She has taught place-based writing courses at the University of Toronto Scarborough and creative non-fiction and poetry to community groups.

02. Programs

Recycling in Fashion: Nehal El-Hadi with Tanya Théberge and Anika Kozlowski

Join Guest Programmer and Studio Magazine editor-in-chief Nehal El-Hadi in conversation with Anika Kozlowski, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design, Ethics and Sustainability at Ryerson University and Tanya Théberge, creative director and founder of responsibly-sourced fashion brand Tanya Théberge to explore the different ways recycling and upcycling are addressed in the fashion industry.

This image shows a female-presenting figure in front of a dark woven material with lighter patterns. The figure has brown hair that turns blonde below the chin, to chest level. They wear pinkish red lipstick and is staring directly at the camera.

The Future of Textiles: Nehal El-Hadi with Miranda Smitheram

Join Guest Programmer and Studio Magazine editor-in-chief Nehal El-Hadi in conversation with Miranda Smitheram, Assistant Professor, Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University where she is a member of the Textiles & Materiality Research Cluster. They discuss the future of textiles and how innovations in their production and design respond to our changing needs.

This image shows the fashion designer in her studio

Slow Fashion: Nehal El-Hadi with Caroline Mangosing of Vinta Gallery

Join Guest Programmer and Studio Magazine editor-in-chief Nehal El-Hadi in conversation with Caroline Mangosing, founder and creative director of VINTA Gallery as they discuss what sustainability means in connection to slow fashion, accountability, fair labour practices, cultural heritage and evolution, and identity.