Reusing waste materials to experiment, refine and develop other kind of fabrics and imagine new possibilities for clothing.
Re-use my manifesto! A design strategy to re-use second hand textiles. Reworking clothing items, in collaboration with Oxfam, to participate in the reduction of fashion post-consumer waste.
Developed for my Master of Arts in Textile Design in 1997, this manifesto is still a source of ideas for me, creative solutions and reusing methodologies that can be enriched through future projects and investigations:
''In my work, I consider the world as a 'Bric-a-Brac' which contains fragments of the universe where everything connects. I collect the waste produced from consumer society. I select, I classify, I repair, I rework, I assemble, I effectively re-use these materials to extend their lives.''
As a designer-maker working with re-use & upcycling, how can I contribute to challenge today's consumer attitudes, distorted as they are by the capitalist model of growth and the primacy of the market? Through workshops based on the interactivity between makers and users experimenting together with the stages of re-use above. Through a different philosophy of thinking and living, consumers can be enabled to be more responsible and in control of their actions. They can become contributors, who are empowered to influence change through the choices that they make, to solve the current environmental problems we are facing.
A multi-layered textile
inspired from The Garment Party
'In, the inside'
Layers of fabric leftovers are superimposed in strata to create a new type of textile - full - empty - light - heavy
To add some thickness to a garment in order to warm a definite part of the body
Cutting through the thickness of the material to discover its relief
Opening seams to reveal the inside
Experimenting in the printing workshop
To research and invent re-using methods
The Children’s S.C.R.A.P. Project based in East London provided me with some fabric leftovers for my experiments. The charity collects, stores and distributes clean, safe industrial waste to schools, nurseries, colleges, special needs groups, churches, hospital wards, playgroups, community groups and charitable organisations involved in education. It saves over 200 tones of material each year from landfill.
Reviving a textile
Using simple printing techniques
To restore by drawing and colouring.
To revive by adding a colour filter.
To change by painting the material.
To connect different pieces of cloth together by adding a colour block, creating a common denominator.
To create a new motif by using a stencil, to reveal the fabric from a different perspective.
To make a motif stand out by adding a colour filter; to create a camouflage by over-printing.
Scanning, extracting, over-printing
'Shirts', a collaboration with Oxfam's 'No Logo' shop
Some of the shirts provided by No Logo for my experiments. London1997.
The No Logo shop was part of the Oxfam organisation, a leading UK charity fighting global poverty founded in 1942. Today there are about 650 Oxfam charity shops nationwide, receiving donations including clothing. Every year, about 12,000 tonnes of donated clothes which can't be sold, go to Wastesaver, their recycling plant – the aim hopefully is that nothing goes to landfill.
No Logo was formed by Janette Swift in 1989. She was an established figure in the world of green fashion having set up Reactivart, a design group working with reclaimed materials. There was an environmental incentive in launching No Logo. It began as a " response to the unacceptable levels of waste in the fashion industry, an industry that introduced new seasons to replace out dated collections, only after 6 months and who were not responding responsibly, doing little to improve the environmental harmful methods of textile manufacture and waste disposal". No Logo was a non profit making company, profit from the sales of the reworked garments was returned to Oxfam to help with their projects in developing countries.
Digitally scanning the warp and weft of the shirt's fabric to extract it
and reuse it as a motif - rework it - overprint it.
Past & present create something new.
Overprinting the whole shirt in one pull.
Disrupting the order of reprinting the different layers of colours from the extracted motif to create vibration and movement.
Emergence of a depth of field through superimposition and proliferation.
Mixing all the extracted motifs to form a new print to be used with moderation or not?
A plain white shirt meets a floral shirt.
The flowers spread onto the plain shirt.
The two shirts are now united and create an ensemble.
Scanning some parts of the shirt - collar, pockets, buttons, cuffs can become a motif to be printed - these details become intensified.
Colour overflow as a link to connect distinct elements together.
Overprinting the whole shirt in one pull.
The shirts are experimental to demonstrate some of the reusing possibilities which can be achieved through these printing techniques and can be enriched and developed through more workshop practice.
'Shirts' exhibited and sold at No Logo, Carnaby, London1997.
'Garment rendez - vous'
Upside Down - Inside Out - Exhibition, Copenhagen, Denmark.
UPSIDE DOWN - INSIDE OUT - was an exhibition on the subject of RECYCLING - REUSE of already used materials.
The idea for the exhibition came about as a reaction to the increasing consumption of material goods and the effect that this will eventually have on the planet. The intention was to steer away from a doomsday-like approach and bring imagination to the subject.
HUMOUR - FANTASY - SURPRISE - POETRY
Craft makers, artists and designers showed how they could imagine a future consumption based upon recycling. By adding energy and fantasy to a serious subject, they inspire thoughts amongst the general public as well as in parliament and industry, they surprise and stimulate reflection.
May 2. - June 1. 1998 Bibliotekssalen Rundetaarn, Copenhagen.
Found ties and shirts in Brick Lane flea market, London, 1998.
" I met these objects on my way; I collected them; I designed a meeting between them.
A meeting between shirt and tie, a meeting between shirt and shirt, a meeting between shirts, ties, and people."
Screen printed second hand ties and shirts
After Winter comes Spring.
An intimate meeting between a women shirt and a men jacket.
Screen printed second hand shirt and jacket.
Flamboyant Summer Flower Dress.
Overprinted found Indian dress.
When Autumn fades away.
A meeting between a second hand shirt and a skirt.
'Leaves Overflow' screen printed on a pleated skirt.