“Fashion hacking is a collective enablement where a community share their methods and experiences on how to reverse engineer fashion.” Otto von Busch
Otto von Busch  who has coined the concept of fashion hacktivism in his book Fashionable. He sees fashion as a code, and the key to the code can be found in the fashion magazines. Otto von Busch argues that this code is not mathematics or mechanic, it is imagination and representation of what seams to be possible to wear. The code consists of variables like cuts, seams, fabrics, materials and fitting, yet putting these together is not enough. The code is building on the representations we can see in the fashion magazines.
Fashion hacktivists does not copy the brands they rather mimic it and like hackers they build upon the system with their own imagination. Giana Gonzáles  in her “Hacking-Couture”- workshops takes this concept; of hacking brands, and fashion code, into the work-flow of up-cycling. It is about liberating one self from the dictations of fashion and transforming the sewing machines to a symbol of liberation instead of a symbol of sweat shops. Fashion hacktvists appreciate the work and time put in to do-it-yourself culture. Ethical fashion is connected to fashion hacktivism even more strongly.
Fashion Hacktivism is not a definition with strict criteria, it is more an abstract idea how fashion and hacktivism can be combine in various imaginary ways. Fashion hacktivism combine some of the following aspects in various ways:
1.Von Busch, O., 2008. FASHION-able hacktivism and engaged fashion design. Göteborg: Johan Öberg, Art Monitor. (Also available at: http://www.hdk.gu.se/files/document/fashion-able_webanspassahd%20avhandling_OttovonBusch.pdf)
2. Hacking-Couture by Giana Gonzáles: www.kulturservern.se/wronsov/selfpassage/HHCH/HHCH-info.htm
Crafting is getting hip again, urban young women in west are picking up knitting again . Craftivism emerges when political activism meets crafting. This crafting for political or social change is not a new phenomena, women in the past have knitted to support soldiers in war, today craftivists knit against the war. A current debate discusses if today's crafting can be seen as an activists act in itself . Betsey Greer crafter and founder of craftivism.com states on her site:
“ That each time you participate in crafting you are making a difference, whether it is fighting against useless materialism or making items for something betwix and between”
Greer believes that crafters can be activists and activists demonstrate by crafting and among anti-brand and anti-company activists, crafting is becoming a way to avoid consumerism. As a consequence of feminist struggles during past decades craft is no longer seen as suppressive domestic labour. Instead traditional needle craft is now seen as a liberating act, we are free to choose our roles and they are not attached to our gender . Stitch and Bitch knitting meetings  are examples of women taking back this domestic task, yet making it hip and fun, and combining it with a social context. As we can see crafting can be seen as a concious political act in it self, yet craft can also take the form of being the medium of a political message.
1. Sabella, J., 2008a,. Third wave craftivism?. Columbia Chronicle Online Edition, [internet] 12 December. Available at: http://www.columbiachronicle.com/paper/print.php?id=1872 [Accessed 4 August 2009].(Also available at: http://www.andknitting.com/knitting_news/knitting_activism/)
2. Sabella, J., 2008b,. Craftivism: Is crafting the new activism?. Columbia Chronicle Online Edition,[internet] 12 December. Available at: http://www.columbiachronicle.com/paper/print.php? id=2251[Accessed 4 August 2009].
3. Greer, B., 2003. What?. [Online] (Updated 2008) Available at: http://craftivism.com/what.html [Accessed 4 August 2009].
4. Von Busch, O., 2008. FASHION-able hacktivism and engaged fashion design. Göteborg: Johan Öberg, Art Monitor. (Also available at: http://www.hdk.gu.se/files/document/fashion-able_webanspassahd%20avhandling_OttovonBusch.pdf)
5. Stitch and Bitch: http://stitchnbitch.org/
Here are some links to various fashion hacktivism and craftivism projects:
Body count mittens by Lisa Anne Auerbach
In this project each mitten memorialises the number of American soldiers killed in the Iraqi war, at the time the mitten was made. Each mitten is different including a patter of the date and the death toll. When mittens are used together in pairs they show the escalations of the deaths. The mitten patterns and instructions are spread through her blog, offered as a tool for participation in protesting against the war in Iraq. Auerbach presents several other ways to demonstrate using needlework as the medium. A lot of these examples can be found on her website.
microRevolt by Cat Mazza
microRevolt is a collection of projects that aims for social change on a grass root level through craftivism. The Nike Blanket Petition is a part of microRevolt as is the Stitching for Senate project. Where participants are encouraged to knit helmet linings to every US senate member as a reminder of the ongoing war on Iraq should be ended.
Radical Cross Stitching by Rayna Fahey
Fahey presents on cross stitching as a subversive way to protest. She encourages others to take part and to do-it-yourself. The Radical Cross Stitching -site also includes a Fabric of Resistance Wiki where active craftivists are presented. Craft enthusiasts are encourages to publish their own craftivist works including stories and design processes.
Hacking-Couture Giana Gonzáles
Hacking-Couture workshops takes the concept; of hacking brands and fashion code, into the work-flow of up-cycling. In the workshop the history and "code" of a specific brand like Gucci is presented. After this participants use recycled clothes and up-cycle and "guccifies".
Swap-O-Rama-Rama by Wendy Tremayne
Visitors bring a bag of old unwanted clothing to the Swap-O-Rama-Rama event, as an entrance ticket. The clothes are collected into a big pile that will be the raw material of the event. Participants can choose “new” old-garments from the pile, and attend workshop at different sewing stations. At the stations participants get help from professionals and from each other to re-do their garments. In the end participants prepare for a catwalk show, that will showcase the highlights of the swap.
Freeware by Geraldine Juárez
Artist Geraldine Juárez uses free Postal Tyvek envelopes found in US post offices in her “freecycled” freeware project. These are examples of fashion made out of something else than the traditional fabrics.
Fashion hacktivism can also spread awareness of new behavioural patterns like in the case of SHRWR, a group of young designers and critical theorists from Göteborg, Sweden. SHRWR claims that “Ownership is out of fashion”. Their idea connects with the thought of shareware and the open source programming community. SHRWR brings t-shirts and reconstructed garments with the SHRWR label to events. These clothes are free to use, yet you are not allowed to own them. This new protocol of not owning clothes is meant to confuse us, yet in the same time get us to think about our relation to clothes and things.