Skip to content


Can a pack of cards be used as a tool for change?

The TEN was developed by Becky Earley, Kay Politowicz and the research group Textiles Environment Design at Chelsea College of Arts. Each card identifies a significant, critical area for attention in the lifecycle of the product and suggests a strategy for analysis and change; approach and resolution; consideration and action, acting as a tool to overcome the barriers to improvement.

When used together, the cards can serve as practical guidelines to examine, survey and highlight the problem of sustainability and the role of designers in change and innovation. They present visual evidence of strategic thinking.

Developed with a focus on textiles and fashion, they have a potential role in generating strategic concepts for the design process generally. They offer a persuasive prototype from design research and are a research tool in themselves, whose relevance becomes clear when used to facilitate design workshops.

The cards promote group workshop discussions in game-play and role-play formats. They are offered as a range of entry points for positive research-led engagement from the practical to the idealistic.

You can buy The TEN cards here.

Watch our TEN animations below or watch Professor Rebecca Earley using them here.

The TEN animations

If you'd prefer to watch the animations individually please use the below links:

Design to Minimise waste

This strategy encourages designers to minimise the waste that is created in the textile industry, both pre and post consumer. It includes zero waste cutting and recycling but it also introduces the idea at the outset that we need to avoid producing stuff that doesnt work, that people dont want.

Design for Cyclability

This strategy explains how when you design for cyclability, the thought process is very different, but totally connected to, the practice of recycling textiles.

Design to Reduce Chemical Impacts

This strategy is about appropriate material selection and processes for any product to minimise environmental impacts.

Design to Reduce Energy and Water Use

Energy consumption and water usage in the textile industry are extremely high and occur at each stage of the lifecycle of textiles – at the production stage, in the use phase (where consumers use and care for textiles and garments) and at the end stage (which covers either disposal and/or re use of the material.

Design that Explores Clean and Better Technologies

Replacing systems of production with less energy consuming and smarter technologies to reduce environmental impacts.

Design That Takes Models for History and Nature

This strategy is about how much textile designers can find inspiration and information for future sustainable design from studying and reflecting upon nature as well as textiles, habits and societies of the past.

Design for Ethical Production

This is about design that utilises and invests in traditional craft skills in the UK and abroad. It is about ethical production which supports and values workers rights, and the sourcing of fair trade materials. It questions what ethical production means, and how it differs for each scale of production and manufacture.

Design to Reduce the Need to Consume

This strategy is about making stuff that lasts, stuff that we really want and want to keep and look after, and the design and production of textiles and products which adapt and change with age. This strategy is also about exploring alternative forms of design and consumption such as co-design and collaborative consumption.

Design to Dematerialise and Develop Systems & Services

This strategy introduces the concept of designing systems and services instead of, or to support, products, e.g. lease, share, repair.

Design Activism

In this final strategy we encourage designers to leave behind the product and work creatively with the consumers and society at large. It is about designing events and communication strategies beyond product design to increase consumer and designer knowledge about the environmental and social impacts of fashion and textiles. Here, the textile designer becomes a ‘Social Innovator’. We reflect on how much has changed for textile designers, and how much potential for the future there is!