"UCRF strives to connect and strengthen a global network of researchers, fashion practitioners and laypersons committed to profound change in the fashion system," the Union says

"UCRF strives to connect and strengthen a global network of researchers, fashion practitioners and laypersons committed to profound change in the fashion system," the Union says

A group of four fashion and sustainability academics have formed the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion (UCRF) to highlight the "crucial role" that building and sharing knowledge plays in making the sector sustainable. 

UCRF will work to call out what it refers to as "misinformed research" and studies that are misused by the fashion industry to deflect scrutiny away from current practices.

It will also draw attention to "sound" research in fashion and sustainability and encourage work that builds on what it calls robust knowledge foundations.

"UCRF strives to connect and strengthen a global network of researchers, fashion practitioners and laypersons committed to profound change in the fashion system," the Union says, adding in its first week, more than 50 researchers from around the world have joined and signed its manifesto.

Inspired by the Union of Concerned Scientists which was established almost 50 years ago, UCRF has been formed by professor Kate Fletcher (Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts, UK); professor Lynda Grose (California College of the Arts, USA); assistant professor Timo Rissanen (Parsons School of Design, The New School, USA); and professor Mathilda Tham (Linnaeus University, Sweden).

"We have set up the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion because change is urgent, and because myths, impenetrable statistics and greenwashing blocks real change," the group says.

"It's high time fashion follows the limits of planetary resources rather than the growth logic driving industry. This requires change beyond tweaking products. We need entirely new systems and paradigms."