Megha Chauhan profile

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Megha Chauhan

Kingston University London (2023)


Dr Sass Brown


Exploring nature-fashion partnerships using collective crafting with Indian textile artisans


The proposed research identifies artisanship as an embodiment of cultural heritage, presenting human values and diverse worldviews through materiality (Risatti, 2007). It aims to explore how craft and design practices can be used to exchange knowledge and values, as well as how participatory arts-based methods can foster collaboration to understand diverse ways of knowing and being, nurturing the fashion-nature relationship.

In seeking to examine the potential of craft as a lever for change for sustainability within the fashion industry (Zhan and Walker, 2019), I will investigate the untapped transformative role of cultural expressions in engaging values and fuelling re-imaginings of the planet’s future to cope with the impacts of climate change (Kamara, 2022). As part of the participatory practice research, I will construct a dialogue through making with textile artisans from Gujarat, India - who are practising intergenerational craft and using indigenous wool and cotton - and design practitioners from the UK, committed to sustaining regenerative relationships with nature. The developed collaborative design framework will guide the facilitation process where the participants will leverage their diverse skills to co-craft artefacts revealing new directions for material culture.

The co-crafted fashion artefacts will be exhibited and highlight the global connection between artisans and makers, and people and their local natural resources and biodiversity. Through cross-cultural networks of makers and artisans, the proposed study contributes to knowledge by presenting a methodology and a design framework that facilitates sustainable future exchanges, while prioritising power dynamics between various stakeholders. This study will provide essential research on the relationship between textile makers and their ability to contribute to biodiversity using their creative practices, presenting a holistic approach to sustainability through the lens of craft, and inspiring paradigm shifts in fashion.