Industrial irons are frequently used by students for garment-making. They take around 15 minutes to reach useable heat and steam pressure so there is a temptation to leave them on. London College of Fashion’s (LCF) electricity consumption measurements indicate that an iron left switched on but not in use wastes up to 3 kWh per day or 400 kWh per year. To raise awareness of wasted energy and reduce health and safety risks associated with irons being left on indefinitely, LCF has installed an innovative new timer switch that reduces electricity consumption through limiting the time irons are left on.
This technological solution is paired with an LCF-designed printed ironing board cover to raise awareness of energy consumption in students and staff using the equipment.
The project has encouraged dialogue about energy saving and has prompted some staff to recommend that interventions are made regarding other equipment.
1 Small innovations are worth the effort. They plant a seed that grows as engagement and opportunities increase
2 Our students have proved very quick to adapt to the way we’ve changed this equipment. We should trust students and colleagues to embrace positive change
3 Preparing for the Green Gown Awards is an excellent motivator, promotion tool, and way to push your project forward!
A simple and elegant solution to a known problem of students leaving equipment running even when not in use. The fashion sector is relatively narrow but there are clear opportunities to develop this approach elsewhere (both within the fashion sector and higher education more widely) and good student engagement. The project demonstrates very effectively that anyone can be innovative. It makes students and staff think!
“University of the Arts London is a place to explore, research, teach and learn practices
and processes that contribute to the furthering of societies and cultures. We seek, through the arts, to enable community and individual engagement in practice. Winning this Award recognises our commitment to social and ecological design and amplifies the impacts of our collective ambitions towards a sustainable future.”
Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor