Eight Earth Logic values

Factor 4 reduction


A reduction in scale can lead to an increase in quality of fashion experiences

Earth Logic learning is characterised by diverse learning moments and trajectories

A rooted sense of identity and community through localism

Pluralism in fashion can take many forms

Processes of creating language of fashion to create agency

More diverse, less authoritarian systems of governance

Seven Earth Logic Statements

Written by two of the world’s most cited scholars in fashion and sustainability, the Earth Logic fashion action research plan warns of the unacceptable climate, environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry. Earth Logic can be summarised into seven essential elements of action to profoundly rethink fashion and put the health and survival of our planet Earth before business interest and economic growth:

  1. Act on the science. Science tells us we have less than a decade to shift to living within the means of our planet, with resources fairly shared across the globe. Acting on the science means taking steps commensurate with this challenge. Changes to products and even discrete systems are insufficient – change needs to be targeted at the very logic that drives the whole of society.
  2. Earth Logic is for us all. Earth Logic puts the health and survival of our planet as the primary goal for all fashion activity. This is different from fashion directed by economic growth. A thriving planet with a stable climate will benefit us all and decentralises fashion from an industry-dominated activity, to one shaped and reshaped through genuine collaboration across industry, citizens, education, the media, policymakers and more.
  3. It’s time for a paradigm shift. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them. This is why we propose Earth Logic as a new paradigm for fashion that can also be applied to other sectors. This new way of thinking – like the turn of a kaleidoscope – makes it possible to see new patterns and relationships and take action for a fashion system that is a healthy and regenerative force in society and for the planet.
  4. Dare to change, even when it is difficult. Three key themes for action are: Less – bring all fashion activities within the planet’s limits. Local – ground action in the needs and creativity of local communities. Plural  – nurture diversity and social justice to transform nature and society.
  5. Dare to learn, communicate and organise. Activate transformation of the fashion sector by: Learning – use every opportunity to expand knowledge, share knowledge and innovate based on Earth Logic. Languaging – use words, stories and images that change mindsets from growth logic to Earth Logic. Governing – consider how we organise and regulate fashion as an important and underused driver for change.
  6. Move from production and consumption to care. The maintenance, use and care of fashion systems are expressions of the Earth Logic. The feminist notion of care radically transforms how we act. Care brings action for climate, biodiversity and social justice from expert work to something everyone can do everywhere. It brings care for relationships, people and other species, into the foreground, paying attention to  fashion practices instead of products.
  7. Stay with the trouble – our future prosperity depends on it. Earth Logic is an uncompromisingly holistic approach to change. This means refusing to separate environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability. It also means addressing real challenges, like providing livelihoods in a world of less production and consumption.

Earth Logic Plan

The Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan is a visionary and radical invitation to fashion researchers, practitioners, business leaders and decision makers to: call out as fiction the idea that sustainability can be achieved within economic growth logic; and instead to ‘stay with the trouble’ of envisioning fashion connected with nature, people and long term healthy futures.

The plan does this by placing Earth first – before profit, before everything. This is both simple and changes everything.

The plan comprises three parts to support Earth Logic action research in fashion. Part I is a values-explicit context which can be used to plan, select and evaluate research and development projects. Part II is a checklist to keep action research on a radical track. Part III is made up of six holistic landscapes that set out progressive areas for transformation of the fashion sector directed at the whole system of fashion.

Earth Logic was commissioned by the JJ Charitable Trust.

A rooted sense of identity and community through localism


Earth Logic @ Stockholm+50

Three Earth Logic workshops will take place as part of the side programme of events at Stockholm+50. Marking 50 years since the first UN conference on the environment.

Who We Are

Kate Fletcher (PhD) is a Professor at the Royal Danish Academy, Copenhagen and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London, UK. She is one of the most cited scholars in fashion and sustainability and her work, like that on post-growth fashion and fashion localism, both defines and challenges the field. She has written and/or edited nine books translated into eight languages. Her latest work is about design, nature and clothing.

Mathilda Tham (PhD) is Professor in Design at Linnaeus University, Sweden and affiliated with Goldsmiths, University of London. She was a member of the boards of Mistra, the Swedish foundation for strategic environmental research, and the Mistra Future Fashion programme. Her visionary work into research as activism, transdisciplinary co-creation and fashion as futuresmaking is published internationally. Her latest work is about the many ways of knowing and learning for living within the Earth’s limits.

The authors are co-founders of Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion.

In The Media

06/01/2021 | Vogue Business

Thinking Outside The Fashion Box By Bella Webb

15/01/2021 | Circular Systems

Industry Insights & Reports

Comments - add yours below

8 comments on “In The Media

  1. Amy Twigger Holroyd |

    Thank you Kate and Mathilda for the clarity and vision of Earth Logic – it is sure to become a guiding text for those working for change within fashion, and beyond.

    I have identified Earth Logic as a key reference in my Fashion Fictions initiative (fashionfictions.org), which brings people together to generate, experience and reflect on engaging fictional visions of alternative fashion cultures and systems. In particular, I have identified the first three landscapes – less, local and plural – as sources of inspiration for people dreaming up the diverse ideas for alternative fashion worlds which form the foundation of the Fashion Fictions project.

    Thank you!

  2. Dr. Monica Titton |

    Dear Kate and dear Mathilda!
    Last week, we discussed the Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan in my “Fashion in Crisis”-reading group and here are a few thoughts from the discussion:

    – first of all, the form of this text is really great and accessible to a wide audience (I was particularly impressed with the bits in which you describe concrete scenarios of life within the holistic landscapes!), the language is clear and engaging – and with your writing, you practiced what you preached in terms of making scholarly knowledge less hierarchical and quite simply shareable across disciplines!
    – The text really works as a manifesto!! I will continue to use this in my teaching and definitely also in my research practice, thank you so much for the encouragement and the space you create for a more immediate reaction from scholars to pressing social and political issues!
    – The references to Donna Haraway’s latest book sparked a lot of interest and it encouraged some of the participants to do more research on multispecies feminism!!
    – Of the six holistic landscapes, the second one was the most difficult to comprehend and envision, and we talked a lot about the implications of a “localization” of the fashion industry. After reading about the complexity of global supply chains in the garment industry in Alessandra Mezzadri’s work in an earlier session, we were wondering how a scaling and re-centring of the fashion industry could be set forth, considering not only the fact that many materials are still sourced from across the globe, but that there are also millions of garments workers whose livelihood depends on the global structure of the industry? The question here is essentially about the ways in which globalization and especially international trade can become more sustainable.

    These are just some thoughts that I wanted to share with you – thank you for the brilliant manifesto and for making it so widely available!

  3. Beth Ranson |

    I am a knitted textile designer, researcher and lecturer in sustainable textiles. I have now read ‘Earth Logic’ twice, avidly taking notes on both occasions.

    The concepts of ‘diverse ways of knowing’ and ‘grounded imagination’ particularly resonate within my own practice, as well as the encouragement throughout to ‘stay with the trouble’.

    I have ‘stayed with the trouble’ throughout my practice, and it has often felt like a somewhat solo mission within my own context. Often having to justify the focus of my work to fellow students, tutors, and designers who have not always valued the problem solving nature of my work, the call to action within this book has been a brilliant energy and confidence boost. ‘Staying with the trouble’ is championed and valued here- brilliant!!

    In these worrying times, where work opportunities are dwindling within the pandemic crisis, reading ‘Earth Logic’ has provided new perspectives for me to explore, new ways to approach thought processes, and it has renewed the sense of worth in my often confusing and challenging work.

    As hoped by the authors, this book will not sit on my shelf and gather dust- it has become and will remain a constant point of inspiration and reference for my continued research within knitted textiles!

  4. Dr. Monica Titton |

    Thank you Kate and Mathilda for making the Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan available! In response to the measures against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the University of Applied Arts Vienna, where I teach in the fashion design department, has closed its doors for students and moved all teaching activities online. Students of practice-based courses like fashion design are particularly challenged by the shutdown of studios and working facilities. At the same time, the present offers a rare possibility to take a step back from the usual state of pre-fashion-show-frenzy. Therefore, I have organized a Fashion in Crisis reading group on Zoom, and have included the Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan in the reading list!

  5. Alice Holloway |

    Just wanted to reiterate my thanks for the workshop on the 12th. It truly was inspiring and encouraging. These ideas are so important, I think even you and Mathilda are challenged by the courage needed to talk about degrowth, local production, democratisation of fashion etc in a seemingly opaquely neo-liberal culture- and you guys are researchers at the one of the biggest London Universities! But it means such a lot to hear people speaking up truthfully in positions where you also have a lot more to lose. So thanks again.

    Just wanted to share my key insights from your talk yesterday, and the things that I’ll be taking forward in my own practise.

    1) Change needs to happen with relative speed and on a large scale, but this shouldn’t be used a justification for more exploitation. Therefor- grassroots organisations need to consolidate power and lead change from the ground up. This gives an opportunity to build into my ‘Brixton Fashion Commons’ project a ‘union’ of local garment industry or fashion industry workers. Especially focussed on retail assistants within the chain stores in Brixton. They have potential to take the fight to their global employers with the expanded knowledge that some of us more embedded practitioners can share with them.

    2) There is a ‘consumer’ journey to less. I can shift my business model and my comms strategy to reflect this journey. Not asking the people who buy and wear my pants to buy in because they fully embrace the narrative of EarthLogic (and similar thinking- sacred economics etc), but treating our interaction as an almost therapeutic course to potentially guide people from a position of ‘I want cheap sexy underwear, but I’m trying to be good’ to ‘I understand the reasoning for buying less and why it will cost more and I’m excited to be a part of that process’.

  6. Rachael Matthews |

    Thank you Earth Logic for helping East London Textile Arts to explain a vision. Our group is diverse in skills and culture, and we work on a long term development through collaborative projects with art galleries and museums. My focus is enabling the adults with learning disabilities to collaborate with their support workers and their families through textiles and the making of clothes. Collective making helps us strengthen relationships in our community and to make contemporary fashion statements. Earth Logic is helping us to value our work as an influential example of how clothes are being made locally. Earth Logic helps us re-think what the role of the designer could be. We are not interested in reproducing our clothes to make money because the value is always in what we become as a result of making the work. Earth Logic helps us explain to our funders, why this is also important for the world beyond the community centre.

  7. Timo Rissanen |

    Thank you Kate and Mathilda for writing this. I am assigning the Introduction as the opening text to my undergraduate class, Specialized Studio in the Systems & Society pathway at Parsons. The underlying context for the semester, following your document, is Earth Logic. For reference, this is a required studio class in the third year of a four year BFA in Fashion Design. I’ll report back in May/June on how the semester went.

  8. Jane Grice |

    Brilliant. This really confirms that small local projects that address fashion waste, repair and reuse are valid. Thank you.

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