In Killer Fashion Revolution fashion hacking happens on both physical and symbolic level. The clothes are altered and the code; materials, seams, drapes, details, etc. are reconstructed. On a symbolic level the meanings of war related garments are redirected to promote positive values. In a situation of war, conflict and injustice the human rights are most neglected and by transforming war related clothes to promote human rights the participants goes through a symbolic ritual of opposing direct and structural violence.
Killer Fashion Revolution is not against fashion – as in the prevailing style during a particular time. Killer Fashion Revolution looks critically upon how we are consuming fashion – as by and throw away items – when trends are changing in an increasing speed. The project is about learning skills to alter things and to make our own fashion by expanding the life time of clothes. Additionally participants document, contextualize and share their designs co-creating a pool of knowledge related to the Killer Fashion Revolution theme. Killer Fashion Revolution raises as well awareness of how fashion industry often neglects human rights and promotes ethical fashion.
The war related clothes used for the project are not only military suites or army combat uniforms, they are second-hand clothes and garments that can be found in our own wardrobes. Up-cycling clothes – giving old clothes new value by altering them – was a necessity during war times in Europe. During the Second World war the British Board of Trade published a booklet as a part of the Make Do and Mend campaign, helping households “to get the last possible ounce of wear out of all your clothes and household things”. There was rationing on the clothes to save shipping space, man power and materials. Due to the lack of materials old garments were altered and combined in creative ways. The quote “No material must lie idle, so be a magician and turn old clothes into new.” from the Make Do and Mend booklet reflects an attitude to make things sustainable also through our actions. In a time without restrictions to consume Killer Fashion Revolution promotes an attitude of a creative magician who saves resources, so we do not run out of them one day. Killer Fashion revolution promotes Do-it-yourself and Do-it-together practice. It is about collaboratively designing artifacts and sharing co-created knowledge online, in a way inspired by open source developers. Additionally Killer Fashion Revolution aims to open design processes for non-designers.
The Killer Fashion Revolution addresses an important need in our community to recognize how human rights are part of our everyday life and the decisions we make. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of United Nations in 1948. The Declaration is the foundation of international human rights law, yet the content of the thirty articles is quite unclear for most of us. One reason is the written format of the articles, that are quite challenging to understand. Another reason is that people like me, living in a quite just and stable country, experience that neglecting of human rights happens elsewhere, not in our everyday life. Yet structural violence is present also in the stable societies e.g. in form of bullying, intolerance, unjust opportunities etc. Killer Fashion Revolution focuses on the theme of human rights to rise awareness that human right issues are part of our daily lives and our daily decisions. Ethical fashion is naturally a theme that gets special focus in the Killer Fashion Revolution -project. Killer Fashion Revolution takes a stand against excessive consumerism, sweatshops and cheap labour through the act of crafting, yet celebrates fashion as way of self-expression.
1. Imperial War Museum, 2007. Make Do and Mend. London: Imperial War Museum. First published by the Ministry of Information 1943.
The project is planned to take advantage of divers mediums to reach people in various situations, involving them into different levels of participation. The Killer Fashion Revolution -project consists therefore of four modules that support each other, yet work as independent entities promoting human rights and inviting participation.
Workshops In the fashion hacking workshops participants are facilitated with the help of different activities through a collaborative creative design process. A set of peace educational objectives are implemented into the workshop program to enhance participants understanding about ethical fashion and human rights. Workshops have as well a sustainable approach by generating ideas how to re-cycle old clothes. Encouraging participants to express themselves by means of creating fashion promotes diversity. On the other hand team work skills are enhanced by creating designs in collaboration with others. The outcome of the workshops are designs promoting human rights made by participants. More about: Workshops and KFR Do-It-Yourself Designs made in the workshops.
Installation The participatory media art installation is a module that works as a stage to bring forth the Killer Fashion Revolution -concept. The installation both promotes designs made in prior workshops and inspires exhibition visitors to participate in the project in various ways. Participants can either contribute with ideas through the installation or later by taking part in workshops and in activities online. More about the Installation and Exhibitions were you can see it.
Wiki-site The Wiki-site serves as a platform for participants to co-crate knowledge. Participants can contribute with designs, do-it-yourself instructions, information about war related clothes, knowledge about ethical fashion, human rights in fashion industry and other related topics. The Wiki-site aims to develop to a digital community that ties together all parts of the project. The Wiki-site is also a part of the installation.
Do-it-together -guides Do -it-together guides is a set of instructions that empowers participants to organize their own Killer Fashion Revolution happenings. The guides aim to give ownership of the project to participants and encourages participants to share their experiences and to develop own versions of various workshops. More about the guides in KFR Do-It-Together.
Concept planning and the Killer Fashion Revolution -project kick-off were designed and produced by Linda Kronman  within the frames of a Masters Thesis work for Media Lab in Aalto University, School of Art and Design  in Helsinki, Finland. The project was further developed together with Andreas Zingerle within the KairUs Art Collaboration Platform  . The project explores connecting nodes between peace education and participatory art and design, therefore Killer Fashion Revolution project is in following form and content taking influence from these practices:
Participatory art and design:
The peace educational core of the program is built according to a Mosaic-program developed by peace education organization CISV International  and the first Killer Fashion Revolution workshop - Mosaic KFR workshop - was done within the frames of a Mosaic-program. The workshop, installation and online platform includes three phases from the Mosaic program: Discover, Understand and Create.