Fashion Systems: Re-assessing the Relationships between Nature-Design- Technology to advance Sustainable Practice and Advocacy

September 5th – 13th 2024

For our next Responsible Fashion Series (RFS) event, we will visit the American West to explore the complicated relationship between fashion and technology and move the needle on current thinking in this space to advance sustainable practices in the fashion industry. Starting at the Arizona State University, we will visit both their Phoenix and Los Angeles locations and end up in technology’s birthplace, Silicon Valley.

We begin by exploring the sublime beauty of the American Southwest, where craft methodologies have for centuries been embedded in their indigenous cultures. We will then travel to Los Angeles, America's West coast fashion capital, where we will visit studios and workshops to expand our perspectives on current design and manufacturing practices. We will then reach the final location aboard ‘the Coast Starlight train’ from Los Angeles to San Jose, through California’s fertile valleys and Pacific Ocean shoreline for a reflective immersion in nature between locations. On the final leg of the trip, we will arrive at West Valley College in Silicon Valley, where technology and sustainable fashion companies have been exploring the potential of sustainable fashion practices for decades.

This RFS event aims to open a dialogue for overarching ideas around the value of advancing technology and its integration in theory and practice through panels, presentations, and discussion. Throughout the event, we will discuss the opportunity that technologies offer regarding responsible fashion with industry professionals and leading scholars. Immersed in these three distinctive environments – the heart of technology, a grand natural environment, and a major center of fashion design and manufacturing – we can ask ourselves: how does this stimulate our ability to consider future directions for research, practice, and advocacy?

Some of the themes for this Responsible Fashion event include:

  • How can technology be used to create more responsible fashion systems?
  • What does a combination of technology and fashion promise for advancing sustainable practices?
  • What is the human impact of these technological advances concerning authorship, ethics, advocacy, etc.? Is there anything to fear?
  • How do we apply systems and UX (user experience) thinking to fashion to create a more sustainable human-centric industry?
  • How will AI impact creativity and innovation in the fashion industry?
  •   How can technologies that are being used to drive consumer choices also be used to challenge buying behaviours?
  • What can we learn from cross-cultural technological innovations (i.e., East and West) to move forward responsible fashion practice?
  • How can technology help the fashion industry achieve the SDG goals set forth by UNESCO?
  • What will the role of digital fashion be in the future of sustainability?
  • Where does fashion education fit into this technological world?

We welcome contributions that question or advance our understanding of technology’s ability to create a more human-focused and responsible fashion system. Topic areas may range from environments, creativity, manufacturing, metaverse, AI, and material advances. This RFS will host a variety of formats including panel discussions, paper presentations, exhibitions, and workshops. If you have a different idea or way to present, please approach us as we are open to all productive formats. We hope you will join us at Arizona State University and West Valley College September 5-13, 2024.

If you are interested in joining this event, we are opening our call for contributions from today and will continually update our programme.


  • For academic papers please submit approximately 500 words indicating topic, relevance, and significance to the above themes. Please note that these will be subject to double-blind review.
  • For panel discussion proposals please provide details of membership and topic and how you perceive it will fit into this event

Please send proposals to by 31st October 2023

As in all RFS events, entry to the event will be FREE (subject to registration), however, due to the logistics of this special event, there will be additional costs incurred such as travel between locations, etc.

Limited numbers of travel scholarships for artisans and craftspeople only will be forthcoming.