Thursday, September 24, 2009
'Focuses on value and the re-valuing of things'
The Elvis and Kresse organisation have built their business transforming unwanted fire hoses into luxury handbags. Speaking recently at Crafting Mass Production, a seminar as part of the Greengaged Design Council series, Kresse Wesling saw her business as ‘building value into waste’ (Wesling 2009). Thinking long term however, it may be argued that the fire hoses are not diverted from landfill, merely delayed as they are transformed into another product.
‘Many researchers are beginning to suspect that recycling actually provides an ethical get out of jail free card which liberates consumer conscience and in doing so generates even more waste,’ (Chapman 2005 p.10).
Although upcycling and recycling rely on a supply of clothing waste (generated in part by the disposable nature of cheap clothing) they have a role to play within our fashion system short term. Through education and awareness of the reasons for recycling and upcycling, these business initiatives have the potential to influence lifecycle thinking and change attitudes towards consumption through unique fashion garments.
The work of E&KO was also the inspiration for the 'Wasted' installation at the V&A as part of the Design Festival September 2009.