No I havent come across the RITE group before Sam. It looks interesting.
Im not big on conferences / seminars or anything too academic. although the networking can be useful. I prefer doing collaborative projects with designers and students. Last year I did projects with Grays School of Art and North Glasgow College. In October the Japanese tartan designs by students at Grays will be shown at a Japan / Scotland event. The models will be from a local school and the show will be organised choreograhed and managed by Mastera students from Heriot Watt. This years project with Grays will involve a set of my US State tartans and focus on sustainablity.
Im really a wool man myself Sam, wool being the traditional material for tartan. However to make clothing in the African national designs affordable to the African diaspora and to establish businesses for womens co-operatives in Africa I was planning to have the designs woven/printed in locally produced cotton cloth.
A colleague did tell me that because of the floods in Pakistan and the earthquakes in China there may well be large increases in the price of cotton soon..
I actually think wool is the most eco-friendly and ethical of all textiles because it is a free by-product of food production, is not water hyngry and doesnt use up valuable land for crop production. It can also be produced in a range of weights.and textures.
Thanks Sam. Ive had most of my designs woven in wool and made into clothing items and accessories. These sell worldwide. I would like to have some of them produced in cotton but it is proving very difficult to know how and by whom