Social fabric: a sustainable social-entrepreneurial fashion collaboration with female refugees in New Zealand
Hillenaar, Kareen Elese
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This paper describes a Master of Art and Design research project developing a social entrepreneurial design process in fashion. This is a multi method approach focussed upon a Participatory Action Research methodology, to develop creative practice and a relational business model for female refugee outworkers and myself a fashion designer resulting in long term rewarding employment. The project has two primary strands for discussion. Firstly, visual documentation and analysis of textile and garment development incorporating the refugees’ cultural references. Using drawing, embroidery, dyeing and construction skills of the participants in a collaborative design and production process with the researcher, has resulted in the development of a womenswear collection of T shirts. Secondly; the process findings and outcomes of the pilot study which often cross the boundaries of aesthetics, technology, craft, and ethics; drawing together western and developing world cultures in a creative dialogue will be presented. In conclusion, the aims, objectives, outcomes of and potential of this socially sustainable design model, which could be applicable to refugee agencies and New Zealand fashion designers, will be gauged and discussed.