The benevolent future of fashion

A framework for business partnerships with a social purpose


  • Georgina Twamley University of the Arts London
  • Francesco Mazzarella University of the Arts London


Activism, Charity, Fashion, Social impact, Strategic partnerships


Consumers are increasingly buying from brands they believe in, and, therefore, fashion businesses increasingly need to align their operations with their customers’ values. With this in mind, this paper reports on a research project aimed at demonstrating ways in which the fashion system can begin to benefit society, consumers and businesses more. Recommendations are distilled from desk research and primary data collected through a consumer survey and interviews with fashion industry experts. The findings from the research reveal how collaborations can be used as a multidimensional tool and expose the tangible advantages of communicating ethics and engaging audiences by aligning with consumers’ desires. The research findings were used to inform the development of a framework which paves the way for a more socially conscious fashion industry by providing businesses with a checklist to follow to create partnerships and projects with a social purpose. To conclude, this paper advocates for how the fashion industry should begin to create more positive social impact and lays the foundations for further research on the benevolent future of fashion.

Author Biographies

Georgina Twamley, University of the Arts London

Georgina Twamley is a guest lecturer in entrepreneurship, fashion and design at the London College of Fashion, UAL. Georgina’s research looks at the development of the fashion industry in the age of the internet, fashion collaborations, corporate social responsibility, charity tactics and strategic partnerships. Georgina works in fashion marketing as a creative producer, having previously held roles in design and management. Her work is also influenced by her entrepreneurial project, HelpingYourself, a mental wellness platform. Georgina has won commendation awards for her research and continues to study how brands can become both more profitable and more socially responsible. 

Francesco Mazzarella, University of the Arts London

Dr Francesco Mazzarella is Senior Lecturer in Fashion and Design for Social Change at the London College of Fashion, UAL. Francesco’s research spans the fields of fashion activism, craftsmanship, design for social innovation and sustainability. Francesco is currently the Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded 'Decolonising Fashion and Textiles' research project, on project ‘ReGo’ and the 'Fashion Values' knowledge exchange project. Previously, Francesco was an AHRC Design Leadership Fellow Research Associate at Imagination, Lancaster University, supporting design research for change. Francesco was awarded a PhD from Loughborough Design School, funded by the Arts and Humanities Design Star centre for doctoral training. His doctoral research project explored how service design can be used to activate textile artisan communities to transition towards a sustainable future.  




How to Cite

Twamley, G., & Mazzarella, F. (2022). The benevolent future of fashion: A framework for business partnerships with a social purpose. DISCERN: International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3(2), 38–57. Retrieved from