"Black Friday" – the alias that's given to the day after Thanksgiving in the USA – has been steadily growing in notoriety on this side of the pond for the past decade. For many, it has come to signify a moment for pre-Christmas spending, where retailers’ promises of bargains are dangled like carrots in front of clamouring consumers.

Except, this year, we’re not clamouring.

The fact is, that the premise of "Black Friday" – and its inextricable message of mass and mindless consumerism – is becoming increasingly irrelevant in this day and age. When companies are ever more scrutinised over their transparency and sustainability, an occasion that actively encourages overproduction, overconsumption and worker-exploitation couldn’t be more tone deaf if it tried.

Disrupting such traditions, and the fast fashion philosophy that underpins them, Filippa K is one of many designers that are doing things differently – changing the industry for the better with pioneering techniques and thoughtful working processes.

Filippa Knutsson introduces her Disrupting Patterns exhibition.

For her latest project, Filippa Knutsson has collaborated with Mistra Future Fashion and the next generation of creatives at the University of the Arts London on a two-year sustainability research project that explores cyclical production and innovative material developments. And the results are to be showcased in London this weekend.

"Being a disruptor in terms of this exhibition was about trying to break the boundaries of what the speed of fashion looks like today and could look like tomorrow," Filippa explains. "The learnings from this project could potentially challenge the way that we make fashion today," she continues, describing the idea that "all environmental impacts and aspects during the [a garment’s] full lifecycle [have been] taken into account and optimised based on a predetermined life length."

Campaign for Filippa K.

As a business, Filippa K is on a trajectory to becoming fully cyclical by 2030 – producing entirely sustainable collections and considering a product’s lifetime. The two-day exhibition, showcased at the Chelsea College of Arts, demonstrates this in practice and stars a 'long-life' commercial coat that is "100% recycled and recyclable", alongside a 'short-life' concept dress that is "100% bio-based and biodegradable". In their own way, each calls into question the traditional definitions of ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ fashion, and attempts to establish a solution that is both realistic and positive.

"What we set out to do is to inspire more mindful consumption," says Filippa. "Our ambition is that people will buy less but better, and take care of their clothes for a longer user phase."

Innovative dyeing techniques on show at Disrupting Patterns.

Today of all days, when the contrast between vast retail messaging and individuals who are championing the reverse has been thrown into sharp relief (Christopher Raeburn led the charge on social media with the #BuyNothingDay movement) Filippa's philosophy – and that of the Disrupting Patterns exhibition – couldn’t be more timely.

Disrupting Patterns runs from Saturday 24 November 2018 between 10am and 6pm, until Sunday 25 November between 12pm and 4pm, at Chelsea College of Arts SW1P 4JU.

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