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Sally Cooke

Visual Arts, Nottingham Trent University

Thesis title:

Material Encounters: fashion sustainability examined through beginners’ experiences of learning to sew clothes at home

Research Area

  • Visual Arts


Cooke, S. (2017) 'The Matter at Hand', presented at Making Futures Conference, Plymouth College of Art, 2017.

Cooke, S. (2018) 'Distributed competence as a design response to the sustainable fashion challenge: engaging the amateur maker', presented at Leeds Arts University's Sustainabiliy Symposium, November 2018.


Making Futures 2017 - 21st-22nd September, Plymouth College of Art

Public Engagement & Impact

Being Human Festival 2020

Sustainable Clothing Sewposium 18th November 2020 - an open online event for people in Leeds interested in sewing and its role in a more sustainable future. Delivered in partnership with Zero Waste Leeds and Leeds Community Clothes Exchange, the sewposium brought together would-be sewers, experienced sewers and others with an interest in clothing and sustainability to talk about learning, using and sharing sewing skills and making them more accessible to all. Participants were invited to engage in an optional beginners sewing activity introduced at the start of the session or to bring their own sewing project to work on during the discussion. Inspiration was drawn from existing practice and recent research into amateurs learning to sew clothes for themselves. As well as providing a space to meet, share ideas on sustainable sewing practices and sourcing sustainable materials, the event also fed into the Leeds Fashion Futures initiative being developed by Zero Waste Leeds in partnership with the RSA.

Sewcam - how to thread a needle.jpg

Other Research Interests


Amateur making

Sustainable fashion



Participatory design

New Materialism


Stitching Together Network

Design Research Society

Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion

Fellowship HEA