An international fashion research project exploring the 'craft of use'

Material resourcefulness

Garments are fusions of materials and energy brought to the body in myriad configurations, yet the dominant force in fashion, consumerism, tends to value only a narrow spectrum of fashion activity. The practices of material resourcefulness broaden this view and show a burgeoning testing ground of an alternative flows of fibre, fabric and product.

Laundry top

"This is a tunic. And it’s made out of a sarong. It’s just piece of material. I lived and worked in Africa for the past three years ago. And I was in Mombasa on holiday. And part of my job is sourcing. So I love looking at peoples, clothes lines, their wash lines and I saw this sarong hanging on a wash line of a place I was hanging out at. And I said, ‘can I buy that from you?’ …I had a tailor sew it into a tunic.

And I want to make like a thousand of them and sell them. It’s just two seams and it’s just like a hem around the neck and the fringe just comes! I like that it was someone’s wrapper for their skirt, some Kenyan lady. And she was looking at me like, ‘you’re insane’. You want to buy my laundry? And I was like, ‘yes, please, I’d like to buy your laundry."

New York - January 2013
Photograph by Ellinor Stigle