Plabrication for for fast fashion
Fast fashion is the inspiration for one of my current art projects. Some may not know that my art background is in fashion, the human form and how it’s presented are of great interest to me. My shelves contain coffee table books, reference books movies on fashion documentaries and designers. So it is inevitable that I end up revisiting this aspect of design in my creative pursuits.
This year I’ve put aside the iPad and embraced the idea of making a mess. Employing my fashion knowledge and skills, I guess you could say to design a fashion range; with a twist. The twist is I am not using fabrics but “plabric”, that is to say fabric created from plastic bags and wrappers.
Some may be familiar with the term and have already explored the concept. I learnt of the concept when Kay Lawrence held a workshop while exhibiting at Gallery 107 @ Dalby. During that workshop I wasn’t so adventurous, the goal was to create a windsock. I ended up exploring how different plastic responded to heat and how to improvise as a result.
Plastic is nothing like fabric! It’s not as pliable or flexible and some work arounds are being made as a result of that. Many have asked who are modelling these works and a fashion parade . That will be down the track, at this stage these works are sculptures and there are many reason’s for that.
Throw away society
The motivation for this project is a continuation of my exploration of Community. Specifically the gay community, and the sense of belonging. We have become a throw away society even with our relationships. I call it “menu board socialising”. We are our own brand, we present ourselves and throw away what doesn’t fit with our expectations. The project though has ballooned into so much more. As I have researched and explored, I have realised this is an issue on a much bigger scale…
The plastic I’ve been using for this project has been the result of my own consumption. My buying patterns changed because of this project. But I am embarrassed at how much plastic waste my consumption creates. I try to minimise my impact on the planet but have to admit I am not doing enough!
Further research for this project brought the movie True Cost to my attention. This documentary is about the fast fashion industry. Stores like H&M, Zara and many others have fashion cycles of six weeks. This fuels over consumption and sees many articles of clothing discarded very quickly. The image conscious trapped in a cycle that generates a lot of textile waste!
A lot of this clothing is donated to charities to help those in need. But it’s cheaper to shop stores like K-Mart than a charity store, go figure! Clothing is shipped to poorer countries for those in need. When digging further one can’t help think that this process is a dumping ground for textile waste. Most sitting in huge bundles unused and not wanted.
So this project has taken me on the journey of up-cycling. Inspired by other artist before me who have participated in Salvage. I am repurposing my rubbish to create sculptures that make the community more aware of their consumption.