Designed under the umbrella of the Cultural Intellectual Property Rights Initiative® (CIPRI), WhyWeCraft enables environmental, social, economic, and cultural sustainability of the European textile and fashion market through a unique co-creation framework meant to stimulate artisan-designer collaborations by merging contemporary design thinking with traditional textile knowledge and techniques.

WhyWeCraft has an extensive focus on Intellectual Property Rights.


Traditional textile craftsmanship is a living example of slow-paced, resource mindful and socially sustainable production.

The principles of design to minimize waste and emotional connection to the garment are inherent to traditional textile production. Garments were traditionally entirely made by hand with great attention to detail and in a context of resource scarcity (i.e yarn handspun, fabric handwoven, embellishments hand-embroidered).

WhyWeCraft - Cultural Sustainability in Fashion is a Winner of the 2020 European Social Innovation Competition

'Cultural sustainability' is an umbrella term informally referred to as the fourth pillar of sustainable development. 

Historically, the concept stems from a 1995 World Commission on Culture and Development report linking cultural policy to economic, political and societal issues. 


In relation to sustainable development the concept is understood from at least two perspectives:

(i) it refers to the sustainability of cultural and artistic practices and knowledge, including, without limitation, identity formation and expression, cultural heritage conservation, aspects related to cultural continuity;

(ii) it also refers to the role of cultural traits and actions as determinants of sustainable societies and sustainable living.


'Cultural sustainability in fashion’ refers to:

(i) transmitting or supporting the knowledge transfer of traditional textile knowledge and cultural expressions to future generations by integrating traditional craftsmanship in contemporary fashion and textile supply chains;

(ii) acknowledging, respecting, protecting and continuing inherited culturally embedded sustainability orientated traits and actions reflected in sustainable design, sustainable production and consumption patterns.



Kangas, A., Nancy, D. and De Beukelaer, C. (2017) Introduction: cultural policies for sustainable development, International Journal of Cultural Policy, 23:2, 129-132, DOI: 10.1080/10286632.2017.1280790;

Boța-Moisin, M., (2017), Cultural fashion: Transform the Fashion industry from Villain to Hero

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