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13 The Linen Project;

Our current fashion market is focused on economic growth and financial profit. It is a market that is producing at increasingly cheaper rates, in poor quality, under exploitative working conditions, and with a draining impact on our ecosystem. Consumers, on the other hand, are disconnected from the production process, making it harder to develop a critical understanding of the origin of the products we use daily and with which we surround ourselves.

With The Linen Project, the Dutch Crafts Council and ArtEZ Master Fashion Design propose a focus on the local, small-scale productions that are traceable and sustainable. We see a countermovement emerging that we want to encourage: the growing interest in the search for connection with the production process of the products we use and consume daily. With this project, we want to give an example of the possibilities for making better fashion from beginning to end as a joined effort.

With The Linen Project, we study the production of flax, linen, and (linen) products to propose ways to revive these resources sustainably. The Linen Project activates ‘old’ knowledge, skills, and the different meanings associated with flax and linen production, combined with new technologies and possibilities. In a broader framework, The Linen Project proposes a new cultural logic for our current fashion system. By no longer defining design as just a product, but situating it as one of the processes in a more extensive set of complementary and reinforcing activities for which we need to take responsibility. Together we explore research and activate the economic viability of small-scale linen production in the Netherlands and other localities. Only by committing to the challenge of trying out different ways of making
than we are used to, we imagine a meaningful fashion in the future.

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