The exhibit "Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuseâ€ opened on Saturday, September 2nd at the Textile Museum at George Washington University. The exhibit is part of the museum's 38th annual Celebration of Textiles Festival which this year is focused on recycling in fashion.
The exhibit explores how innovative designers are taking leftovers scraps of fabric to high fashion, the runway.
Museum director John Wetenhall said that the elegance, the color, the shape, the form are so beautiful that people wouldn't know they come from recycled materials.
The exhibit features the work of three artists. In Tokyo, Reiko Sudo creates fine fabrics after transforming piles of discarded silk worm cocoons into a special yarn. In Milan, Luisa Cevese salvages scraps for her high fashion handbag line. And Los Angeles-based Christina Kim turns rags from the cutting room floor into designer dresses.
Exhibit curator Camille Ann Brewer said that the fallout from her production process she reuses to create a new product. Since the year 2000, garment production has doubled and the majority of textile waste ends up in landfills around the world.
According to researchers, more than ten million tons of clothes and fabric get trashed each year. But just as manufacturers have faced pressure from animal welfare and fair labor groups to rethink their materials and reform their practices, many believe sustainability will be the fashion industry's next evolution.
Some of the works of art on display in the exhibit are also wearable art. Products from Ceveseâ€™s handbag line are being sold in the museum gift shop, with prices ranging from $35 for a small wallet to $425 for a tote bag.
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