Today, the beginning of Fashion Recycling Week, eight installations from the Clothes Well Lived project go live at eight H&M stores, in different eight cities around the UK. As promised in our last blog, here is a little synopsis of each of the installations, including our very own CSF window in Bristol. It is amazing to see how each of the groups has approached this project in their own, personal way. Some looking to the physicality of the city, to its history or contemporary culture, whilst others took to specific sustainability challenges they currently face. Whatever the starting point, each window installation has been designed to make us rethink the way we value and interact with fashion.
London – The Breathing Window
One of the biggest sustainability challenges London faces as a city, is air quality – and no the solution is not lobbying for weaker EU laws! At a time when the pollution levels in on Oxford Street are some of the highest in the world, this installation has been created in collaboration with amazing engineers (PCB Technical Solutions) and carpenters to encourage us to think about how we can play a part in helping our city breath again. All of the 180 breathing pockets displayed in this window say one thing – don’t send your clothes to landfill, let them breath again.
(LCF Students: Yewon Choe, Yegee Choe, Youjeong Cho, Dahea Park)
Leeds – Shifting Perspectives
Jeans are an embedded part of Leeds culture, and although they are constructed to thrive through hard wearing and everyday life, many pairs manage to sit unworn in wardrobes or find their way into a near buy rubbish bin. Designed to offer an alternative perspective on this ubiquitous and individual item, this installation uses deconstructed recycled denim to highlight every pattern piece that comes together to create just one pair of jeans. By offering a different view of this iconic garment, this window asks viewers to shift our perspective and rethink the way we use our clothes.
(LCF Students: Daniel Arthur, Claire Lemaigre, Kamogelo Mafokwane and Matthew Riley)
Birmingham – Flowers
Thinking about Birmingham as a city that blossomed through the industrial revolution, this installation has been created with hundreds of the same flower, made from recycled textiles. However, instead of using machinery to mass-produce the same product over and over, each flower has been carefully sewn by hand. The long hours taken in hand crafting this installation, illustrates the preciousness of the resources, which are used to create the clothes we wear. From the thousands of tonnes of clothing thrown away each year, 95% can be given new life through re-use or recycling. These flowers are a symbol to encourage viewers to appreciate the value of the clothes they buy and to take the time to give new life to unwanted clothes.
(LCF Students: Sharina Shahrin, Marco Niefer, Oceane Daigneau-Frugier)
Brighton – New Wave Fashion
It can be easy to take water for granted in a country such as this where it seems plentiful. But there is currently 1.6 billion people living in countries with absolute water scarcity and as the threat of climate change increases, this is expected to rise to 2.8 billion people by 2025. Inspired by the beauty and cultural significance of Brighton’s seafront, this wave has been designed to take viewers on a new fashion journey, one that will lead to a better, more sustainable way of life. The process of making fashion from raw materials requires a lot of water and as more and more of the world begins to face water scarcity it has never been more crucial that we cherish the resources we already have. Built with recycled jeans, this installation leaves viewers with one simple message – don’t waste your taste!
(LCF Students: Dimas Bian, Jessica Chung, Emily Goh, Sun Young Kim, Diane Melnik)
Edinburgh – Bricks and Blocks
Referencing the beauty of Edinburgh’s heritage architecture, along with the vibrancy of the city’s atmosphere, this installation hopes to encourage viewers to give new life to old clothes. Built with a wide variety of recycled garments, the two stacks represent data captured from Edinburgh’s 2014 garment collection and the goal that needs to be reached for 2015. The message to onlookers is this – help build a better future not a bigger landfill.
(LCF Studetns: Belda Chung, Chu Hua Ng Annabelle, La Sin, Mayuko Yamamoto)
Dublin – Once Loved Clothes Can Be Loved Again
In the spirit of collaboration the Creative Direction students worked with Geneive Couture, London College of Fashion design student, to help realise a vision created around the idea that once loved clothes could be loved again. This one-of-a-kind dress has been designed to illustrate the unlimited possibilities of creating beauty from the things we choose to throw away. Recycled garments have been completely deconstructed and hand woven using the principels of macramé. This installation asks viewers to get involved in creating new life and new love for the clothes they no longer wear.
(LCF Students: Shreya Dalmia, Siobhan Bailey Turner, Nina Nguyen, Kening Li, Genieve Vasconcelos)
Manchester – Wrung Out
This installation is a response to the overuse of natural resources in the manufacturing and production of fashion. Drawing upon the infamous Madchester era, Wrung Out specifically focuses on jeans, a garment synonymous with the fashion of this Northern music scene. Thinking about WWF’s alarming fact that it takes 11, 000 litres of water to produce one pair of jeans, this window hopes to encourage viewers to reduce water consumption, repair their denim and keep their clothes longer. The students will be out on the streets of Manchester today, inviting people from local communities to care for their jeans and join them in the preservation of water, the world’s most precious resource.
(LCF Students: Sage Awakening, Joe Wood, Nina Catalanotto, Karishma Pranjivan, Charlene Gálea)
Bristol – Save
In the UK we consume enough clothes in a year to leave a global footprint of 38 million tones of carbon, 6300 million cubic metres of water and 1.8 million tones of material (WRAP). As we send over 30% of our clothing to landfill, we continue to draw upon increasingly scarce resources, whilst contributing to climate change and loss of biodiversity. Playing on the seasonal sale campaign, this installation promotes a save campaign – it’s time to save our clothes as the precious resource they are. The artwork, painted by local Bristol artist Rob Wheeler, represents the connection between how we live our lives and our environment, specifically highlighting some of our own local wildlife now under threat. Save carbon. Save water. Save money. Save your clothes from landfill.
(Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London)
Please join us on twitter @sustfash for discussion and photos of each of the windows through out the week. If you happen to be passing through any of eight cities over the next seven days, you can see the installations in person at the following H&M store locations:
London – 171 Oxford St W1N0EE
Leeds – Leeds Shopping Plaza LS1 5ER
Birmingham – Bullring Shopping Centre B5 4BF
Brighton – Churchill Square Shopping Centre BN1 2TA
Edinburgh – 41 Princes St EH2 2BY
Dublin – 35 South King St D2
Bristol – Brigstow St, Cabot Circus BS1 3BH