The inspiration for this project was this warehouse, shown above, which belonged to a second-hand clothing company in Brooklyn. The sheer amount of clothing astonished me and prompted my thought process for this project. The fashion industry thrives on driving consumer spending habits up and creating a sense of urgency to buy products people don't necessarily need. This in turn creates cycles of acquiring and throwing away. When we think of vintage clothing shops, typically we have a sustainable view of them for the most part. However, an astonishing 85% of second-hand clothing will eventually end up in the landfill. Consuming habits need to change, starting with a shift in mindset to buy high quality clothing and mending existing garments reducing the need for more.
For this project, I wanted to incorporate upcycling to eliminate the use of new materials and to tell a story of what eventually happens to all our clothes. Fashion comes in many forms and I am looking into how upcycling can be implemented in unique ways through various genres of fashion such as streetwear. I discovered that upcycling is a very promising outlet for the future of fashion as it has been shown to work on large-scale levels and will reduce the need to manufacture new materials that use valuable resources. The garment itself resembles the chaotic and overwhelming nature of the clothing cubes above. I was also prompted to discover and implement a new technique that I haven't used before within the project. I chose to look into screenprinting, which always fascinated me, but I never tried it from scratch before. The process was very educational and the phrase I chose to include was "We are Dust, and to Dust we shall return" which I thought was reflective of how just like our clothing, we too will one day go back in the earth.