Welcome back to Fashion As Design. This week we're going to talk about the lifecycle of garments. We're going to talk about how they are born, starting with the prime materials that are used to make them. And we're going to talk about about how they die and sometimes are reborn, how they get recycled, reused, re-adapted. So we're going to really think of a whole cradle to cradle. You probably know this term that was coined about 15 years ago, a cradle-to-cradle idea about garments. We're going to look first at two of the most poignant garments to talk about this subject. One is the white t-shirt and the other is jeans. Following that, we're going to talk about garments that come back alive, that are anew every single time they get passed on to new wearers. And last but not least, we're going to talk about forever, about some particular garments and accessories that are so well made that they last for a long time. Sometimes, they get passed on from a generation to the other. Of course, they demand a bigger investment at the beginning, but the lifecycle is extended for decades. So there are many different objects, as we said, in this particular week, but I think we need to talk a little bit about jeans. Because I feel that so much current experimentation, and also, so much work on the side of the companies that make jeans is going into them. >> And one of the things I love looking at is the UCL project on the global denim. And two anthropologists that, two professors, have looked at the ways in which denim has proliferated so very much across the globe in the last century or so. And how it means very many different things to different people. And yet has these universal and standard meanings also to many. And so they use it almost like a litmus test or a barometer of modernity across the globe in different cultural scenarios and different geographic regions. And it's been really fascinating to think about jeans. Therefore, it's one of these sort of key discussion points in the course and also in our exhibition. >> And that's from the anthropological standpoint, but then there's the sustainability and technological standpoint. So jeans are a crucial example of comfort, of universality, of personality and also waste. And the good news is that companies are taking this very seriously. They're looking for ways to use less water, they're looking for ways to recycle. Some is experimental, some is already advanced. But the technology that goes into making the industry more sustainable is mind boggling. >> One final note on jeans, when we think of the history of jeans, they were designed for durability, right? So when we say jeans, denim had been around for centuries. But when we say jeans, a pair of jeans, this was really something that was born in the 19th century when rivets were applied to different stress points of jeans, including the crotch and the pockets. So right off the bat, jeans were designed to last forever. >> But also, there are some unintentional long-lasting garments that are testimonials for our anew section, like the plannel. >> The plaid flannel shirt, one of my- >> I said the plannel. [LAUGH] >> The plannel shirt. [LAUGH] Like the plaid flannel. >> Like the plannel shirt, yeah. >> So, when we think of the plaid flannel shirt, I think most of us right off the bat have images of hip cool subcultures, grunge in particular. But really, the plaid flannel shirt is a lens to look at how we upcycle clothing. >> So it's interesting, because we've been looking at ways to make garments more sensibly. We've looked at ways to make them last longer, to repair them. Now, there's this kind of new life that they can have. And then, there's the idea of garments that last for a long time. And for instance, the menstruation garments that we see today, there are so many startup companies that are working on something that is an old concept brought back to life. >> Unlike, other menstruation products that are designed to be used and then discarded and have an impact on the environment. Startup companies are thinking about the ways in which we might use underpants that can be re-washed and reused. And it's actually a fairly old idea. >> And that's the interesting thing that is happening in all forms of design these days. We tend to have so much to learn. I mean, we always did, but now we recognize it. We have so much to learn from ancient cultures, from material culture from parts all over the world. And interestingly, today, we're going to talk about another topic that is as old as the world, which is the topic of death. The week is going to be closed by The Ultimate Little Black Dress, which is by Pia Interlandi, a designer in Melbourne, Australia. That works with people that are terminally ill and decides with them what they want to wear when they die. And they're going to talk about biodegradability, green burial, but they also will talk about what they want to leave behind. >> Do you think that's the difference then, Paula, actually? If we are talking about what Bernard Rudofsky was thinking about with the Are Clothes Modern? That was right at the moment when there was a post-war boom of consumption. And design history at that point in time is so often talking about how we might use design, consume design and bring it into our lives. This particular conversation about lifecycle, we have, in the contemporary moments, a general atmosphere or a general hope that we consume less. There's a sort of calming realization that we have finite resources and so we're thinking more about how we can consume less. The devil's advocate position in this conversation is that of course fashion is such a huge business. It employs so many people globally. And many of them are actually women who are using the money that they earn from working in the garments sector to empower themselves, empower their families. And really can radically change their lives. >> It's really a matter of awareness. And also it's a matter of peer pressure. And it's a matter of just creating a culture that normalizes more ethical behaviors. So I feel that slowly but surely, if everybody understands that one pair of jeans versus another is a choice that has impact then we will, as we say, vote with our wallets. And make the world more sensible by letting companies know what we accept and what we don't.