Hogeschool van Amsterdam


Symposium Fashion and design for sustainability: research and practice


Irene Maldini (research group Fashion & Technology) has conducted research on how the amount of clothing that we produce and consume has grown in recent decades, with negative environmental effects. In the context of her PhD ceremony, four international Professors in fashion and design for sustainability visit the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS/HvA). During this symposium, they share insights from their own research.


The symposium is fully booked.

You can no longer register. However, it often happens that a registration is canceled. If a place becomes available, you will be contacted. If you want to qualify for this, send an email to s.j.overklift.vaupel.kleyn@hva.nl. Registrations on this list are processed in the order they are received.

During the morning programme, moderated by AUAS Professor Sabine Niederer, all speakers reflect on the relationship between research and practice in the field, building on examples of their own work. In the afternoon, the student collective Dirty Laundry (Amsterdam Fashion Institute: AMFI) proposes an interactive session for all participants.

This symposium is an initiative of the research group Fashion & Technology. Co-organised by AMFI, NL NextFashion & Textiles and Powered by CLICKNL


9.00 - 9.30 Walk in
9.30 - 9.40 Intro by Sabine Niederer
9:40 - 10.00 Irene Maldini
10.00 - 10.20 Kirsi Niinimaki
10.20 - 10.40 Tim Cooper
10.40 - 11.00 Coffee break
11:00 - 11.20 Kate Fletcher
11.20 - 11.40 Conny Bakker
11:40 - 12.10 Q&A (moderated by Sabine Niederer)
12:10 - 12.50 Lunch
12:50 - 14.50 Dirty Laundry session
14.50 - 15.00 Closure



Sabine Niederer

Sabine Niederer is professor of Visual Methodologies at the faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. She is also a lecturer at AMFI’s Masters Fashion Enterprise Creation. 

She will host the event, opening the symposium and moderating the Q&A with speakers. 

Irene Maldini

Irene Maldini is a researcher at the Research group Fashion & Technology, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. 

She will talk about her recently completed PhD research, entitled “Can design confront consumerism?”, where she has critically studied growing clothing volumes and its associated environmental impacts, the design approaches that have emerged to tackle this issue, and their effects. 

Kirsi Niinimäki

Kirsi Niinimäki, is Associate Professor in Design, especially in Fashion research in the Department of Design at Aalto University, Finland. Her research has focused on holistic understanding of sustainable fashion and textile fields and connections between design, manufacturing, business models and consumption. Her research group Fashion/Textile Futures is involved in several significant research projects, which integrate closed loop, bio-economy and circular economy approaches in fashion and textile systems and extends the understanding of strategic sustainable design. 

Her presentation opens views for the future, where textile and fashion supply chains have changed their practices towards more sustainable ones. The presentation showcases how research can support this transformation process towards a more sustainable fashion industry.  

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is Professor of Sustainable Design and Consumption at Nottingham Trent University. A specialist in product lifetimes, his research interests are multidisciplinary, embracing sustainable design, consumer behaviour, and environmental policy. He initiated the biennial PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) conferences and was contributing editor of Longer Lasting Products, published by Routledge in 2010.

He will present insights into current public understanding of sustainable fashion, discuss industry initiatives to increase product durability, and comment on debate surrounding last year’s UK Environmental Audit Committee report, Fixing Fashion.

Kate Fletcher

Kate Fletcher is a Research Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London and a fashion sustainability pioneer. Her most recent work is about fashion and nature.

She will talk about research as activism with reference to the craft of use, birds, hills and the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion.

Conny Bakker

Conny Bakker is professor of Design Methodology for Sustainability and Circular Economy at TU Delft, faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Her research field is the development of design methods for products that have multiple lifecycles. She explores strategies such as product lifetime extension, reuse, remanufacturing and recycling, and the business models that enable these strategies. A second research interest is the field of user centred sustainable design, which focuses on exploring the relationships between consumer behaviour, sustainability and design. 

She will share insights into the role of design in the transition to a sustainable and circular economy. TU Delft focuses on achieving meaningful change in practice. They use the lessons learned from practice to create new design methods and approaches, and vice versa. She will address a number of case studies and explain what these have taught them about the role and value of design.