WHAT WE DID | RESEARCH METHODS
The S4S project uses a variety of innovative social science and research methods. These include co-created workshops, reflective films, the production of collaborative artefacts, wardrobe audits, reflective clothing diaries and a pre- and post-participation survey. Follow the links above to see more about our workshops and film series. We outline our other research methods below:
Collaborative Artefacts were exchanged between groups at the end of each set of workshop to promote connection and learning. We produced four collaborative artefacts: 1) a clutch bag made from fabric dyed and weaved in Cornwall and transformed into a bag in the West Midlands; 2) bunting from beginners knitting decorated by the West Midlands group; 3) an apron made from a men’s shirt in the West Midlands and embellished with beginners’ sewing in Cornwall; 4) A dress made from spoilt old prom dresses in Cornwall, accompanied with a goldwork bag made in the West Midlands.
Please click on the thumbnails below to view a PDF with information and pictures about each artefact.
Artefact 1. The Clutch Bag
Artefact 1. The Bunting
Artefact 1. The Apron
Artefact 1. The Dress & Goldwork Bag
Wardrobe Audits were conducted with twenty project participants who:
1) estimated the number of clothes they own;
2) undertook an accurate count of the number of clothes they own;
3) answered questions designed to understand how they felt about the clothing in their wardrobes, the turnover and use of items, how they purchased and acquired clothing, and any adaptions they might have made to garments.
The Cornwall group undertook a short filmed audit interview (around one hour) at the start and end of the project, providing clear ‘before’ and ‘after’ information about behaviour change.
Participants in the West Midlands undertook one longer (around three hours) recorded ‘in process’ audit interview, giving in-depth reflective information about their feelings about and attitudes to their clothing as they were engaged in workshop activities.
Why not join in with the wardrobe audit and become part of our team of community researchers? Your clothes don’t need to be in a wardrobe for you to take part – you might have a floor-drobe or a clothing rail or chest of drawers. Regardless of how you store your clothes, we’d like to hear a bit about them.
Click the wardrobe icon to complete our wardrobe audit online.
Clothing Diaries: Participants kept reflective clothing diaries to record their experience of the workshops. These included details about the skills they learned, group participation, the garments they made and the extent to which, and how, their thoughts, feelings and actions around sustainable clothing changed. In many cases the diaries became beautiful artefacts in themselves, signalling a growing investment in and attachment to the project aims, ideas and ethos. People filled them with drawings, notes, cuttings and creatively embellished the covers; a representative selection of pages from clothing diaries are reproduced in this exhibition.
Surveys: At the launch events, we used a screening questionnaire in order to help us select an appropriate range of participants – mixed in their backgrounds, age range and levels of skills in making, mending and modifying clothes. Later, a quasi-experimental questionnaire was devised asking participants for self-reported assessments of skills, attitudes and behaviours before and after workshops to gather a quantitative measure of their effects on how people think, feel and act in relation to their clothing. This approach illustrates the value of survey research and the considerable multi-faceted effects that workshops have had on participants.
Preliminary analysis of data suggests that, post-participation, people think considerably more deeply about their clothes purchasing and engage in a more ethical and environmentally-oriented set of practices, even if their preferred style aesthetic remains relatively fixed.