Sustainability definitions (a loose and growing collection):

  • Sustainability (design) making the invisible visible – Andy Polaine, Core 77
  • A reason not to do or use things that might be justifiable technically or financially – Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) is an excellent heat proof oil and plasticiser – but also a Persistent Organic Pollutant.
  • The continued healthy balanced co-existence of the technoshpere and biosphere within the thin shell into the indefinite future – Ray Anderson, Interface Flor
  • Sustainability is no less and no more than the ‘ability to sustain’. This is to say it is an ability to constantly learn, work on, and improve that which is vital to, and for, the being of being. This is especially so as the impacts of human being ever extend the unsustainable. Tony Fry, fromĀ  “A New Design Philosophy, An Introduction to Defuturing”
  • Our working definition of sustainable is: that only the function of the product be available to future generations at no cost to them in degraded environment, climate or societies.
  • Sustainability is a conversation about what matters, or why not to do some things. Various arguments flow back and forth, and through this process sustainability becomes clear. We’ve seen the conversation expand from environmentalism to sustainability over the last ten years and this has added more complexity. A later post deals with certification schemes in Australia which show a new sophistication in the big picture of sustainability, evolved from thinking and actions/attempts to date. This broader thinking is apparent in Kate Fletcher’s book ‘Sustainable Fashion and Textiles’ – it’s a great exploration by someone who can perceive the new big picture and offers ways forward to sustainability-applied; all based on a thoughtful overview of textiles, fashion, and how they express our culture.
Scroll to Top