Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1, 2024

Last update: 2017-11-09

Fashion Freedom

Supporting research, development, and education to bring the fashion industry into the 21st century

The Fashion Freedom Initiative wants to make sure that everyone benefits from new advances in technology in the fashion industry and beyond. It aims to assist the industry and the wider society in transitioning into a new phase where social responsibility, art, usability, privacy and sustainability are combined into a better and smarter fashion for everyone. Designing and making clothes isn't just a luxury for the affluent, or a prerogative of large factories and consumer brands: it is a universal need at the largest possible scale.

Clothing is an important and meaningful part of our daily lives in many ways. It is quite literally the closest thing to our physical selves in the world, an external skin that protects us and regulates our temperature. In addition to its many functional qualities, clothing is the embodiment of fashion: an essential part of how individuals and groups express themselves esthetically and convey personal and social identities.

Clothing is — amazingly enough — still dependent on a lot of manual techniques, dating back often centuries ago and passed on from generation to generation. Interesting innovations are now entering the realm of fashion and clothing through e.g. smart fabrics but also through novel methods of crafting threedimensional garments from two-dimensional fabric as eco-friendly and durable as possible. The idea of clothing as a sensor network, tool or interface holds great promises, but - like with any technology - one should also consider how this may affect privacy, ownership and control. You may not be able to simply upgrade your smart jacket, but you cannot afford it being hacked either - so where possible you will need best practises such as security by design and privacy by design.

The Fashion Freedom Initiative is an exiting new effort to bring the fashion industry forward, bringing along the best approaches from elsewhere. Its strategy is to produce free software, tools, open manufacturing and training materials that empower anyone to understand, design and create better fashion - for themselves and others.

The Fashion Freedom Initiative is part of The Commons Conservancy.

Donating to this programme

Donate by bank transfer (please add a reference 'Fashion Freedom')
Account holder
Stichting NLnet
Science Park 400
1098 XH  Amsterdam   
The Netherlands
Account number
IBAN: NL30 INGB 0007 2288 90
Name of the bank
P.O.Box 1800
1000 BV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

A collaboration of:

The Commons Conservancy
NLnet foundation