Shah, Karen (2016) Explorations in Time and Space: Re-thinking Global Recycling Practices. In: Costume and Fashion in Context and Practice symposium, 5-6th December 2016, Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

Each year it is estimated that 14 million tonnes of garments are discarded from American wardrobes each year. Garments that often have life left in them and which, if correctly handled, could be reborn and used again. This presentation will propose methods for re-appropriating clothing waste into global modes of manufacture and will draw on case material from a UK and Tanzanian context. Since 2004 Ketchup Clothes, a social enterprise based in Leeds, UK, has been taking waste garments and transforming them into saleable, usable clothes. In the process it has reversed the flow from catwalk to skip and demonstrated both the value of material that is thrown away and appropriate techniques for transforming it. Delving into the bins and detritus left on the streets of Hyde Park, an inner city area of Leeds, this paper will illustrate the types of garments that are left behind in the wake of global consumption together with the impact this has on both the local and global communities. It will discuss how skip raiding and its associated design activist tendencies have had an impact upon how development is viewed and pursued, and how local place-making can inspire us as fashion designers. Practice-led methodology employed in the research has been inspired by psycho-geographic tendencies and the desire to capture and response to local issues and tensions - thus specific designs and design solutions will be presented in order to reflect upon sustainable business models and the types of products that will be appropriate for a sustainable future. In the process it will investigate how new paradigms in fashion research and practice are both responding to and pushing forward social and environmental change and the expected impact this will have on global fashion systems of governance.

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