Centre for Applied Research of the Faculty on Digital Media & Creative Industries

Solidarity in Fashion


Solidarity in Fashion is a new collaborative research project of ArtEZ University of the Arts and the research group Fashion & Technology of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences funded by SIA KIEM.

JOIN collective clothes is a project by designer/researcher Anouk Beckers: a modular clothing system that invites people to create clothes together. Anouk is connected to Solidarity in Fashion as a practice-based researcher. In this photograph, by Aldo Buscalferri, we see a JOIN piece made with contributions by Thijs Beckers, Iris Ebel, Charlie Winkel & Timia Rugenbrink.


Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the fashion sector faces new challenges. Transitioning from a system of overproduction and overconsumption to ‘survival mode’, many people find themselves in precarious positions. There is an increased visibility of the fundamental problems of the globalized fashion industry and we are experiencing a new (temporary?) digital reality of social/physical distance. We crave for more personal, social and physical connection. In the meantime, there are clear calls for solidarity and for alternative, slower systems. Could these times be an opportunity for a reset of values, for systemic change and a sustainable re-start?

Solidarity in Fashion explores how the current situation can be used to develop alternative fashion practices that contribute to a more ethical, sustainable fashion system, and to a more conscious relationship with fashion, also on the long term. From March 2021 to February 2022, a group of researchers, schools, fashion platforms, sector institutes and designers are joining forces. Together they explore the term solidarity and how it could, or should be defined – how will it look like and how will it operate. They will research and develop new insights into the impact of Covid-19 on companies, makers and wearers; and map the current challenges, questions, opportunities and lessons learned that could benefit systemic change. An explorative, speculative and design-driven research is embraced to develop new concepts, imaginations and scenarios to contribute to more solidary fashion practices and a more conscious and ethical way of relating to fashion.

Solidarity in Fashion builds upon ‘Emotionally Durable Design’, a research project which focused on moving beyond our ‘throw-away culture’ and mentality of growth, in order to act from other values, related to ‘de-growth’. This project aimed to re-value the emotional and social dimensions of fashion, by developing a deeper insight into value systems that underlie current and desired relationships between human beings and material objects. Additionally, it aimed at developing new strategies and value-driven fashion practices to create a stronger connection to the wearer and to activate more conscious user behaviour – creating more social value, wellbeing and empathy.

Project team & partners:

Adriana Galijasevic | Cocircular Lab
Anouk Beckers | designer, practice-based researcher
Aurélie Van de Peer | fashion scholar, writer and lecturer
Esther Muñoz Grootveld | State of Fashion
Femke de Vries | Warehouse
Freya Zaplata | researcher
Jan Schoon | communication + pr
Rens Tap | Modint
Sanne Karssenberg | Studio Sanne Karssenberg
Steven van Teeseling | State of Fashion

Fashion Professorship | ArtEZ University of the Arts
Daniëlle Bruggeman | Lucie Huiskens | Carolijn Wessels | Anne Hendriks

MA students ArtEZ
Lydie Valentin | Borbála Csiszar

Fashion Research and Technology group | AUAS
Irene Maldini | Marco Mossinkoff | Troy Nachtigall

AMFI BA Business & Development students
Kim Falkenstein | Richelle IJsselmuiden | Jiyeon Lee | Mariana Pereira

Funding source:


31 March 2021

Project Info

Start date 12 Mar 2021
End date 12 Mar 2022



Benno Premsela building (BPH) | Amstel Campus

Rhijnspoorplein 1

1091 GC Amsterdam