Call for Papers
Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin and Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, DE
Deadline: 31.03.2024

Call for Papers Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin and Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, DE Deadline: 31.03.2024

Fair Trade, Textile Crafts and Fashion in the Context of Social, Ecological, Economic and Cultural Sustainability”

With this call for papers, we invite contributions for our edited book "Fair Trade, Textile Crafts and Fashion" based on the research project "Fairfaktur" (at Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin and Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin).

The interdisciplinary book explores the phenomenon of "Fair Trade" with a special focus on fashion and textiles in the context of and in interrelation with current sustainability discourses and practices in order to highlight barriers, potentials and framework conditions and to point out further research paths. 

Environmental, ethical and social awareness and the commitment to more sustainable business practices are gaining importance in many industries worldwide, including in the textile and fashion industry. Until now, this billion-dollar industry has been tied to unethical business practices and breaches in human rights, the destruction of biodiversity and an overall negative impact on the climate and the environment. This calls for an urgent transformation of this industry toward social, ecological, economic and cultural sustainability. At the same time, social movements, such as Fair Trade and the diverse stakeholders involved in it can look back on a five-decades long experience of trying to achieve social justice in the field of fashion. However, despite active engagement from civil society, unions and umbrella organizations, Fair Trade in fashion remains in the niche even in sustainability-oriented business as well as in academic research. Moreover, existing research mainly focuses on Fair Trade in the context of food and agricultural products (such as coffee), neglecting fashion, textile and crafted product groups. However, these product groups have a great potential to promote sustainable income streams for Fair Trade producers, given that they require higher levels of expertise and that they ensure higher value addition than the production and sales of raw materials or food (Weber 2018; Doherty et al. 2020; Forum Fairer Handel 2020; Jones 2020). Notably, Fair Trade may contribute to the economic inclusion of marginalized groups, particularly women in the Global South, who constitute 80% of the workforce in the textile sector (Moreno-Gavara/Jiménez-Zarco 2019, Khan 2019). Furthermore, Fair Trade's value addition is primarily driven by traditional craftsmanship in small and micro-enterprises, focusing on values such as quality, durability, and ethical production methods. In addition, traditional craftsmanship aligns with the principles of the Circular Economy, emphasizing a sustainable use of natural resources and often employing sustainable materials and eco-friendly methods in production (The British Council & Fashion Revolution India 2023). This suggests that Fair Trade may have the potential of acting as a catalyst for systemic change in the fashion industry – in the context of current debates and practices around social, ecological, economic and cultural sustainability.

Key topics for contributions
Against this background, this Call for Papers seeks for chapter contributions that respond to – but are not limited to – the following questions:

  • What can be learned from Fair Trade cooperatives, and what contribution can the Fair-Trade approach make to a sustainable transformation of the fashion and textile industry?
  • What aspects are specific to ‘Fair Trade’ and ‘craftsmanship’ (in the context of the fashion and textile industry)? What is – or could be – the role of crafted Fair-Trade textiles in the fashion industry?
  • How can we better identify and describe markets, target audiences, and consumption patterns at the intersection of fair trade, the fashion industry, and sustainable consumption?
  • How can we assess the impact of Fair Trade in conjunction with craftsmanship and cultural sustainability, as well as postcolonial and power-asymmetric supply chain relations between the ‘Global North’ and ‘South’? 
  • What approaches may protect, promote, and measure cultural sustainability (i.e., the preservation of product identities or processing techniques and potentially indigenous knowledge & cultural heritage)?
  • What roles do the fashion and textile industry and craftsmanship play as manifestations of the Creative and Cultural Economy in the context of social, ecological, economic, and cultural sustainability?
  • What potential does Fair Trade offer in the context of social, ecological, economic, and cultural sustainability? What critical aspects should be considered, and what limitations does the Fair-Trade perspective and practice entail?
  • How does Fair Trade relate to other approaches and concepts in the realm of sustainable businesses and alternative economic concepts and actors (e.g., the circular economy, social entrepreneurship)? To what extent is fair trade compatible with other approaches to social and solidarity economy? 
  • What are possible impulses for and interrelations with the mainstream fashion industry?
  • How can cultural appropriation be avoided in fashion? What roles do design, intellectual property, cultural heritage, and cultural impact play?
  • What methods and concepts of preventing cultural appreciation in design and marketing of fashion products are known and how can they be translated into practice?
  • How can the academic debate, as well as design education contribute to fostering collaboration on equal terms between fair trade craft organizations and the young scene of socially and ecologically oriented sustainable businesses?
  • What is the significance of design education in terms of cultural sustainability, and what role can it play in strengthening sustainable Fair Trade approaches in the fashion industry?
  • What strength-based design and product development processes and concepts exist? How can intercultural collaboration work in practice?

The aim of the book is to firstly, provide insightful perspectives on current debates and the state of research on Fair Trade. Secondly, to promote the dialogue of these perspectives with debates on (other) alternative economic concepts in the sustainable fashion sphere and beyond (such as the Social and Solidarity Economy, Social Entrepreneurship, Circular Economy, among others) and with research on the Cultural und Creative Industries and lastly, to identify connections, potentials and to emphasize further research avenues.

Criteria for the selection of entries

  • Relevance for the further development of discourse and research: Is the contribution new or does it provide innovative insights? How does it contribute to the further development of theory and practice? Does it provide concrete starting points for research or practical application?
  • Relevance to the edition: Can the contribution be embedded in the thematic field of the edited book? Does the contribution address one of the guiding questions? Does the contribution add value to the analysis of the status quo, framework conditions, barriers and potentials for Fair Trade, textile crafts and fashion in the context of sustainability?
  • Fulfilment of professional standards: Is the information provided well-founded? Is the contribution coherent and the argumentation stringent and comprehensible? Are the research questions and results clearly formulated? Does the article take into account the theoretical state of research and empirical findings?

Format & length of contributions
The contributions can include theoretical articles and empirical studies (up to 5000 words) as well as case studies and practical reports (up to 2500 words). Abstracts and contributions must be written in English. 

To submit your chapter proposal please submit a 300-word abstract by 31 March 2024. The selected authors will be expected to deliver a full paper (of either 2500 or 5000 words) by 4 August 2024. The editors will provide a template for authors after the abstracts have been accepted.

Organisational details
It is planned to publish the edited book "Fair Trade, Textile Crafts and Fashion in the Context of Social, Ecological, Economic and Cultural Sustainability" with the transcript publishing house. It will be edited by Prof Dr. Uwe Bettig (Alice-Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin), Dr. Philipp Kenel (Alice-Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin), Phyllis Sawall (Alice-Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin), Prof. Johanna Michel (Berlin University of Applied Sciences), Lina Pfeifer (Berlin University of Applied Sciences). The planned publication date is spring/summer 2025.

Please submit abstracts and contributions to the edition by the deadlines stated below to the following e-mail address: 

In addition to the usual information (name, e-mail address and institution of the authors), please indicate the working title. 

Preliminary schedule
Publication Call: 01.02.24
Submission of abstracts: 31.03.24
Reply on acceptance of abstract: 15.04.24
Submission of full paper: 04.08.24
Feedback for authors: End of August 24
Revision of contributions: October 24
Publication: Spring-Summer 2025

More information:

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