Part 5. Project 3. Research Point: Christian Boltanski

In this exercise I am to find out about Christian Boltanski’s 2010 installation ‘Personnes’ at the Grand Palais, Paris and analyse it using the terms set out at the start of Project 3.

I am to read the critics reviews of the work and then answer the following questions;

  1. In addition to the garments, the noise of the heartbeats permeates the exhibition. Why do you think this might be?
  2. To what extent are the textiles transformed into something other than fabric?
  3. Whats the significance of the installation title – and of the mechanical grabber?
  4. What associations does this work conjure up in your mind?

My first step was to remind myself of the terms set out at the start of Project 3. These were the pairs of words; Art or Design, Temporary or Permanent, Large Scale or Small Scale, Transforming and/or Defining and/or Forming, Immersive and/or Distant, Pattern and/or Colour and/or Repetition and/or Shape.

I then looked at several critical reviews online, beginning with the Guardian article by Laura Cumming.

First response from reading the article – Good Grief. Coming at this exercise straight from the Christmas celebration is like having a bucket of cold water thrown over my head. What an incredibly morbid presentation.

Looking at the exhibit it reminds me, strangely, of Nazi death camps. The heaps of abandoned clothing represent the people that have passed through the area and no longer need them, the mass of neat squares represent the endless identical huts that these people were trapped inside. Maybe its the neatness of the squares that reminds me of the stereotypical German efficiency? The echoing of the heartbeat around the railway station is a reminder of the people who are not there, that their clothes are all that represents the life that used to be present. Maybe those clothes are cold, maybe they are still warm to the touch.

I then looked for other reviews online and was quite amused to find one in the Financial Times which talks about how Boltanskis father was actually a Jew who lived under floorboards! Maybe my initial impression is not as far off as I thought! According to the article ‘ the knowledge of this living entombment, this death-in-life, as well as the fate of millions of other European Jews, has informed all of his work as an artist’.

Vernissage.tv. (2019). Christian Boltanski: Personnes / Monumenta 2010 at Grand Palais Paris / Interview | VernissageTV Art TV. [online] Available at: https://vernissage.tv/2010/01/14/christian-boltanski-personnes-monumenta-2010-at-grand-palais-paris-interview-part-1/ [Accessed 28 Dec. 2019].

In this interview Boltanski talks about how he wanted to make a piece about ‘the finger of God’ and how Personnes is a ‘metaphor for chance’. He likens it to representing Dantes circles of hell and talks about how he collects heartbeats and has over 35,000 of them at home. The general message I get from this video is that the exhibition shows the fleeting nature of existence. Clothes and buildings get left behind for years, even heartbeats can be preserved but the human body cannot. When someone is dead they are dead and it could happen to anybody at any time.

Returning to my intial brief I reflected on the terms set out at the start of Project 3 and applied them to Boltanskis exhibition.

ART or DESIGN

TEMPORARY or PERMANENT

LARGE SCALE or SMALL SCALE

TRANSFORMING and/or DEFINING and/or FORMING

IMMERSIVE and/or DISTANT

PATTERN and/or COLOUR and/or REPETITION and/or SHAPE

I then addressed the given questions.

In addition to the garments, the noise of the heartbeats permeates the exhibition. Why do you think this might be?

I think the use of recorded heartbeats makes the exhibition immersive as opposed to just visual. By filling the (very pretty) railway station with sound you are making the building itself part of the exhibition as opposed to merely the staging area for it.

The heartbeats are another reminder of the fleeting nature of existence, a reminder of how a heartbeat can be collected and recorded but a human once gone is gone forever.

To what extent are the textiles transformed into something other than fabric?

With this question I’m assuming it means what does it remind me of? What do the clothes represent? They remind me, as per my initial impression, of dead people. My first impression was of Nazi death camps, and the more I have read about this exhibition, also of homelessness. I think this latter representation is because of the bags of clothes that I take to charity shops..? It is the formation of the clothes into the neat squares which gives the impression of the death camps.

Whats the significance of the installation title – and of the mechanical grabber?

The installation title ‘personnes’ means both somebody and nobody in French. This is another reference to the idea that the exhibition is about the fleeting nature of existence, Boltanskis ‘finger of God’. Nobody is present there currently but someobody once wore those clothes, somebody once owned that heartbeat.

The mechanical grabber and its pyramid of clothes remind me more of landfill or the wasteful processes of the fashion industry than of the transient nature of life.

What associations does this work conjure up in your mind?

  • Nazi death camps
  • Landfill
  • Wasteful fashion industry practices
  • That scene in Toy Story when a Minion gets chosen by ‘The Claw’….
Youtu.be. (2019). YouTube. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/zT8If2VABWQ [Accessed 28 Dec. 2019].

Cumming, L. (2019). Christian Boltanski: Personnes | Art review. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/jan/17/christian-boltanski-personnnes-paris-review [Accessed 28 Dec. 2019].

Ft.com. (2019). Personnes, Grand Palais, Paris | Financial Times. [online] Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/4ee37ae8-01f6-11df-8b56-00144feabdc0 [Accessed 28 Dec. 2019].

Architectural Review. (2019). Personnes by Christian Boltanski, Paris, France. [online] Available at: https://www.architectural-review.com/essays/reviews/personnes-by-christian-boltanski-paris-france/5218131.article [Accessed 28 Dec. 2019].

Vernissage.tv. (2019). Christian Boltanski: Personnes / Monumenta 2010 at Grand Palais Paris / Interview | VernissageTV Art TV. [online] Available at: https://vernissage.tv/2010/01/14/christian-boltanski-personnes-monumenta-2010-at-grand-palais-paris-interview-part-1/ [Accessed 28 Dec. 2019].

designboom | architecture & design magazine. (2019). christian boltanski: personnes for monumenta 2010. [online] Available at: https://www.designboom.com/art/christian-boltanski-personnes-monumenta-2010/ [Accessed 28 Dec. 2019].

Frieze.com. (2019). Christian Boltanski. [online] Available at: https://frieze.com/article/christian-boltanski-0 [Accessed 28 Dec. 2019].

Part 5. Project 3. Ex 1

In this exercise I am to look back at Part 3 of C.A.T and consider what function Straub’s textile is serving other than providing something hard wearing to sit on.

Images.ltmuseum.co.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://images.ltmuseum.co.uk/images/max/me/i0000ime.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

The reason I wanted to use the upholstery from the London Underground as my assignment subject is for it’s use as an identity piece. I’ve ridden the Underground for years but have only noticed, probably in the last 5, that each Underground line has different motifs within it’s upholstery. I was blindly staring at the empty seat in front of me when I became aware that I was looking at a very small stylized London Eye, since then I have been actively looking out for different ones and it is fascinating to see how many there are.

In terms of what functions this textile is serving besides being sat on;

Identity – Each line of the Underground network has a different signature upholstery pattern

Communication of message – By maintaining the same visual identity within the carriages through the years, lines give off a sense of timeless service. What I like about these designs is that I cannot tell what era they are from. I remember most of them from being small, I’ve noticed them in more detail now I’m older, but they don’t look dated to me.

Visual Stimulation – In juxtaposition to the dirty, dark cold underground network, a splash of colour brightens up the whole environment. Straub’s use of blue and green is interesting, potentially these were chosen to reflect the colours of the natural world? This could be to subconsciously remind people of the word above, or the colours could just be thee becauase they are thought of as calming.

 Photographs. [online] Ltmuseum.co.uk. Available at: https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/collections/collections-online/photographs/item/2018-2966 [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

the Guardian. (2019). Sitting pretty: London transport fabrics over the decades – in pictures. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2019/mar/12/london-transport-distinctive-fabrics-moquette-history-in-pictures [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Part 5. Project 3. Research Point – Wrapped Trees etc

In this exercise I am to look at a project called ‘Wrapped Trees’, then, a series of example exhibitions as detailed in the course manual.

Surrounded IslandsChristo and Jeanne-Claude

Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83
Christojeanneclaude.net. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.christojeanneclaude.net/__data/605bf1a7335940611b138ff04723ef50.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

In 1983 two artists (Christo and Jeanne-Claude) surrounded eleven islands with 6.5 million square feet of floating pink woven polypropylene. According to their website they did this to  ‘underline the various elements and ways in which the people of Miami live, between land and water.

At a guess I would assume that they did this so that people could view their artwork from different angles and through different methods. Flying over it might give a different message from approaching it on the causeway which would be different again to approaching it by boat. It would certainly be classed as a piece of land art on the scale that it interacts with its environment.

The course manual asks me if I agree with the given analysis. I do, but then I find the analysis very factual, facts are hard to disagree with! “Surrounded Islands sees textiles used on an extremely large scale to both define and cover aspects of the natural environment”, in response to that I think that they have certainly used a lot of fabric, the fabric is sewn to highlight the contours of the island….and it’s covering the water….so yes?!

Wrapped Trees Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98
Christojeanneclaude.net. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.christojeanneclaude.net/__data/6fb9229e8c4acbaa867cf94610acaa71.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Wrapped Trees took place in Germany in 1998. Approximately 178 trees were wrapped in 592,015 square feet of woven polyester fabric. This is apparently a technique used by the Japanese to protect trees from heavy snow each winter.

The course manual instructs me to respond to the following quote from the point of view of the textile rather than the trees;

“The ‘wrapping’ is NOT at all the common denominator of the works. What is really the common denominator is the use of fabric, cloth, textile. Fragile, sensuous and temporary materials which translate the temporary character of the works of art.”

To be honest I’m stumped. I understand that the fabric will blow with the wind and that the tree within will contort it into different shapes, I suspect that there is probably a statement in there somewhere about mans interaction/control with the landscape. But try as I might I just do not understand why someone would want to bag up a tree. So confused.

Yayoi Kusama – Infinity Mirrored Room 1998

Image result for yayoi kusama infinity mirrored room 1998
Phaidon. (2019). The fantastical world of Yayoi Kusama | Art | Agenda | Phaidon. [online] Available at: https://uk.phaidon.com/agenda/art/picture-galleries/2012/february/02/the-fantastical-world-of-yayoi-kusama/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Art or Design

Temporary or Permanent

Large Scale or Small Scale

Transforming and/or Defining and/or Forming

Immersive and/or Distant

Pattern and/or Colour and/or Repetition and/or Shape

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec – Clouds

clouds-by-ronan-and-erwan-bouroullec-6.jpg
Static.dezeen.com. (2019). [online] Available at: http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2009/01/clouds-by-ronan-and-erwan-bouroullec-6.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Art or Design

Temporary or Permanent

Large scale or Small scale

Transforming and/or Defining and/or Forming

Immersive and/or Distant

Pattern and/or Colour and/or Repetition and/or Shape

Marianne Straub – Moquette Textile 1970

Colour transparency, C69 stock Circle line train, interior view by Dr Heinz Zinram, 2 June 1970
Images.ltmuseum.co.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://images.ltmuseum.co.uk/images/max/25/015225.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Images.ltmuseum.co.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: https://images.ltmuseum.co.uk/images/max/25/015225.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

I was a bit miffed to see the upholstery for underground trains turn up in this exercise. I want to use them for my Assignment at the end of this module and thought I’d come up with an idea that was a bit unique!

Art or Design

Temporary or Permanent

Large scale or Small scale

Transforming and/or Defining and/or Forming

Immersive and/or Distant

Pattern and/or Colour and/or Repetition and/or Shape

Static.dezeen.com. (2019). [online] Available at: http://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2009/01/clouds-by-ronan-and-erwan-bouroullec-6.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

events, F., CollectionsCollections online The collection Stories Vehicles Posters Photographs People Sound recordings Uniforms Archives Drawings Equipment Infrastructure Maps Ephemera Vehicle parts Artwork Models Library Relics Signs Technical documents Tickets Timetables Film & Video Projects and partnerships Battle Bus Edward Johnston Frank Pick Moquette Project Where are all the women? District 150 Q stock restoration LGBT+ collecting Depot Discovery Rail vehicles Road vehicles Engineering and technology Design and environment Maps, f., Depot Discovery Rail vehicles Road vehicles Engineering and technology Design and environment Maps, f., Maps, s., Photography, f., blog, M., partnerships, C., partnerships, P., Friends, L., members, C. and members, C. (2019). Photographs. [online] Ltmuseum.co.uk. Available at: https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/collections/collections-online/photographs/item/2001-5225?&apiurl=aHR0cHM6Ly9hcGkubHRtdXNldW0uY28udWsvYWxsP3Nob3J0PTEmc2tpcD0wJmxpbWl0PTQ4JnE9c3RyYXVi [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Etherington, R. (2019). Clouds by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec | Dezeen. [online] Dezeen. Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2009/01/16/clouds-by-ronan-and-erwan-bouroullec/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Phaidon. (2019). The fantastical world of Yayoi Kusama | Art | Agenda | Phaidon. [online] Available at: https://uk.phaidon.com/agenda/art/picture-galleries/2012/february/02/the-fantastical-world-of-yayoi-kusama/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

CBC. (2019). 12 places where you can find a Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Room right now | CBC Arts. [online] Available at: https://www.cbc.ca/arts/12-places-where-you-can-find-a-yayoi-kusama-infinity-mirror-room-right-now-1.4893108 [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Artribune. (2019). Kusama mania | Artribune. [online] Available at: https://www.artribune.com/report/2011/11/kusama-mania/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

BBC. (2019). BBC Arts – BBC Arts – Wrap stars: Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 50 years of pop-up art. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2LFSrLK9XjRxLqTRNdftLqd/wrap-stars-christo-and-jeanne-claudes-50-years-of-pop-up-art [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Christojeanneclaude.net. (2019). Projects | Surrounded Islands. [online] Available at: https://www.christojeanneclaude.net/projects/surrounded-islands [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Christojeanneclaude.net. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.christojeanneclaude.net/__data/6fb9229e8c4acbaa867cf94610acaa71.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Part 5. Project 3. Research Point – Sackler Gallery etc

For this exercise I am to go online and read more about the Sackler Gallery extension. I am then to find more examples of architectural use of textiles.

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid
Frearson, A. (2019). Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid. [online] Dezeen. Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2013/09/25/serpentine-sackler-gallery-by-zaha-hadid/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

I learnt that the design of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery extension was inspired by the summer installation pictured below.

Lilas by Zaha Hadid Architects
Static.dezeen.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2007/07/zha_lillas-for-serpentine-_-luke-hayes_07.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

This temporary tensile fabric installation, ‘LILAS’ by Lila Hadid Architects, comprises of three parasols and was created for the Serpentine Gallery’s Summer Party located in Kensington Gardens.

I was interested to start my exploration into examples of fabric in architecture as with the exception of the Millenium Dome, I was a little stumped for examples off the top of my own head.

I encountered examples of textiles as sculpture such as this ‘Tubaloon’ textile sculpture by Snohetta for the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway.

The Very Fabric of Architecture: textile use in construction | News
Architonic. (2019). The Very Fabric of Architecture: textile use in construction. [online] Available at: https://www.architonic.com/en/story/susanne-fritz-the-very-fabric-of-architecture-textile-use-in-construction/7000625 [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

The skeleton of this sculpture in covered in white, PVC-coated PVC-PES polyester membrane. This textile was selected for its hardwearing properties as the structure is set up and dismantled on an annual basis.

The Very Fabric of Architecture: textile use in construction | News
Architonic. (2019). The Very Fabric of Architecture: textile use in construction. [online] Available at: https://www.architonic.com/en/story/susanne-fritz-the-very-fabric-of-architecture-textile-use-in-construction/7000625 [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

This Venezuelan pavilion by architect Fruto Vivas is also coated in a PVC-coated PVC-PES polyester membrane. A protective film gives this material anti-adhesive qualities which according to http://www.architonic.com makes the material far easier to clean and gives it a life of approximately 20 years.

The Very Fabric of Architecture: textile use in construction | News
Image.architonic.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://image.architonic.com/imgTre/07_11/textil-carlstahl-shanghaiexpo2.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

This image is of a large net which is covering the Swiss pavilion at EXPO Shanghai 2010. This net has been fitted with 11000 cells which generate electricity through solar power.

Textile architecture creates Hybrid Tower 1
MaterialDistrict. (2019). Textile architecture creates Hybrid Tower – MaterialDistrict. [online] Available at: https://materialdistrict.com/article/textile-architecture-hybrid-tower/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

 The Hybrid Tower (above) was exhibited for three months in Guimaraes as part of the Contextile festival in 2016. Nine metres high, these pre-stressed panels were light enough to be carried by only 6 people. The tower was made from bent rods and a custom CNC knit developed by the team responsible for the experimental project.

Sattler-global.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.sattler-global.com/ta-site-static_files/images/content/Manaus-Ref1a.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

The Arena da Amazonia in Brazil is made of a steel structure with over 200 exterior panels made from glass and PTFE. The outer surface is approximately 35,000 metres square, but, due to the way it was constructed over 55,000 square metres of the fibre/fabric had to be processed.

Serpentine Galleries. (2019). Visit. [online] Available at: https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/visit [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Frearson, A. (2019). Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid. [online] Dezeen. Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2013/09/25/serpentine-sackler-gallery-by-zaha-hadid/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Static.dezeen.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://static.dezeen.com/uploads/2007/07/zha_lillas-for-serpentine-_-luke-hayes_07.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Architonic. (2019). The Very Fabric of Architecture: textile use in construction. [online] Available at: https://www.architonic.com/en/story/susanne-fritz-the-very-fabric-of-architecture-textile-use-in-construction/7000625 [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Image.architonic.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://image.architonic.com/imgTre/07_11/textil-carlstahl-shanghaiexpo2.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Mdt-tex.com. (2019). Textile Architecture | MDT-tex. [online] Available at: https://www.mdt-tex.com/en/textile-architecture/textile-architecture [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

MaterialDistrict. (2019). Textile architecture creates Hybrid Tower – MaterialDistrict. [online] Available at: https://materialdistrict.com/article/textile-architecture-hybrid-tower/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Sattler-global.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.sattler-global.com/ta-site-static_files/images/content/Manaus-Ref1a.jpg [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Sattler-global.com. (2019). Fabric-Architecture-Arena-da-Amazonia – Ceno Tensile Structures. [online] Available at: https://www.sattler-global.com/textile-architecture/fabric-architecture-arena-da-a-1452.jsp [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

designboom | architecture & design magazine. (2019). arena da amazonia by gmp architekten ready for world cup in brazil. [online] Available at: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/arena-da-amazonia-gmp-architekten-world-cup-brazil-06-05-2014/ [Accessed 16 Dec. 2019].

Part 5. Project 3. Research Point – Rm 6 Territories

In this exercise I am to refer to the accompanying course textbook and read Room Six – Territories Pg 146+147.

I am then to investigate Gers and other textile based shelters/homes such as Wigwams, Tipis and Tents.

On consulting the accompanying course textbook I found a pahe of photographs of Mongolian Gers and a brief quote by a travelling artist.

My next step was to identify what each of the stated shelters are, I’ve always thought of Wigwams, Gers and Tipis as the same thing! I then moved onto looking into the history of each.

Gers

Definition of Ger from Wikipedia – “A traditional yurt (from the Turkic languages) or ger (Mongolian) is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt and used as a dwelling by several distinct nomadic groups in the steppes of Central Asia. “

Threecamellodge.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.threecamellodge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/three-camel-lodge-history-of-ger-slider.jpg [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Construction notes –

Elements of construction                           1.Ring, crown or toono                           2.Roof poles or uni   ...
Image.slidesharecdn.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://image.slidesharecdn.com/ninjinmongoliangerresearch-130103050601-phpapp02/95/research-on-mongolian-ger-4-638.jpg?cb=1357189809 [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Historically the people that used gers/yurts were often herding communities. The animals provided resources to these communities such as the wool from their coats to be made into felt. The National Geographic website explains that most yurts had three to five layers of felt covering them.

Youtu.be. (2019). YouTube. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/JN80yjhTljU [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Yurt. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yurt [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Three Camel Lodge. (2019). History of the Ger – Three Camel Lodge. [online] Available at: https://www.threecamellodge.com/accommodations/history-of-the-ger/ [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Draskovic (2019). RESEARCH ON MONGOLIAN GER. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/sandradraskovic/ninjin-mongolian-ger-research [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Society, N. (2019). yurt. [online] National Geographic Society. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/yurt/ [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Wigwams

Definition of Wigwam from Wikipedia – ” The domed, round shelter was used by numerous Native American cultures….These structures are formed with a frame of arched poles, most often wooden, which are covered with some sort of bark roofing material….. roofing materials used include grass, brush, bark, rushes, mats, reeds, hides or cloth.”

Zimmerman, F. (2019). Ojibwa Indian’s Wigwam Houses, Photograph, Gallery. [online] Indianspictures.blogspot.com. Available at: https://indianspictures.blogspot.com/2014/09/ojibwa-indians-wigwam-houses-photograph.html [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Construction Notes-

Whilst looking at notes on how to construct a wigwam I found several mentions of ‘cattail mats’ or bark being used as a covering material. A cattail turned out to be a type of reed with broad flat leaves good for weaving – which made a lot more sense!

A wigwam appears to have been covered with whatever was at hand for the occupants. Bark, grasses, hides and reed mats were the things I found referenced most often with some mention of also using fabric.

Youtu.be. (2019). YouTube. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/rb2s9vxrS_E [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Wigwam. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigwam [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Zimmerman, F. (2019). Ojibwa Indian’s Wigwam Houses, Photograph, Gallery. [online] Indianspictures.blogspot.com. Available at: https://indianspictures.blogspot.com/2014/09/ojibwa-indians-wigwam-houses-photograph.html [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Youtu.be. (2019). YouTube. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/rb2s9vxrS_E [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Nativetech.org. (2019). NativeTech: Wigwams – Basic Wigwam Construction. [online] Available at: http://www.nativetech.org/wigwam/construction.html [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2019). cattail | Description, Uses, & Facts. [online] Available at: https://www.britannica.com/plant/cattail [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Tipis

Definition of Tipi from Wikipedia – “A tipi (also teepee[1]) is a tent, traditionally made of animal skins upon wooden poles. 2Historically, the tipi has been used by Indigenous peoples of the Plains in the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies of North America”

Image result for tipi national geographic
Gonativeamerica.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.gonativeamerica.com/tipi-tours [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Construction Notes –

According to an article in the Guardian newspaper by P.Kingsley, the tipis were traditionally covered in bison hides. This prevailed until the 1880s, at this time, settlers driven west by the railroad expansion were culling significant numbers of bison. At this point the occupants of tipis were forced to start using canvas instead.

Image result for tipi construction
Pinterest. (2019). The Indian Tipi: Construction and Use” will be the topic of tonight’s Science Lecture at the Mohns Science Museum at Sheridan College. Descr… | Cheyenne indians, Native american teepee, Survival skills. [online] Available at: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/2322237288699583/?lp=true [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].
Youtu.be. (2019). YouTube. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/G6CU5uHltIw [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Tipi. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipi [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Gonativeamerica.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.gonativeamerica.com/tipi-tours [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Theclassroom.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.theclassroom.com/information-facts-on-teepees-12003579.html [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Kingsley, P. (2019). Take 18 bison hides … how to make a tipi. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2010/jul/09/native-american-tipi [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Tents

Definition of Tent from Wikipedia – “A shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. First used as portable homes by nomads, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and as temporary shelters.”

http://www.turas.tv. (2019). A Brief History of Tents – where did tents originate? The History of Tents. – http://www.turas.tv. [online] Available at: https://www.turas.tv/2018/07/a-brief-history-of-tents/ [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].
Eureka! Timberline Tents
Eurekacamping.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.eurekacamping.com/blog/article/history-tent [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Construction Notes –

Youtu.be. (2019). YouTube. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/Bi2fITIKOJg [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Care, G. and man-made, T. (2019). The History of the Tent: From mammoth to man-made. [online] Nikwax.com. Available at: https://www.nikwax.com/usblog/the-history-of-the-tent-infographic/ [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

http://www.turas.tv. (2019). A Brief History of Tents – where did tents originate? The History of Tents. – http://www.turas.tv. [online] Available at: https://www.turas.tv/2018/07/a-brief-history-of-tents/ [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Tent. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tent [Accessed 15 Dec. 2019].

Part 5. Project 2. Research Point. Donna Wilson

In this exercise I am to research a designer/artist/maker whose work I am drawn to. I am then to answer a series of questions on them.

For this exercise, seeing as this is the textiles part of the module, I’m taking my artist from one of those mentioned in Project 2, Donna Wilson.

What is their craft and how do they approach it in their work?

Donna Wilson is a Scottish designer who uses hand knitting, machine knitting, felting and sewing to create a range of textile products. These range from the ‘curious creatures’ which starred in her student show at the Royal College of Art in London, to the homeware/ceramics which she is venturing into now. All the products have a whimsical, quirky and overall cheerful feel to them.

Do they adhere to the ideas of Slow Design? To what extent does this allow them to take risks, experiment and innovate?

I would say that Wilson does adhere to the principles of Slow Design. She creates her pieces to fulfill a function, sometimes this is to make people smile, other times it is more practical such as a plate. These pieces are created if not by her then by her team of knitters based around the British Isles. I could not find information about the origin of the yarn they use but I did find mention of one project in which recycling takes place. The ‘Skelie Seal’ toy, created for the new V+A in Aberdeen is stuffed using leftover lambswool from other projects. This shows a conscious attitude towards resource management.

In an interview for the Scotsman newspaper Wilson said that she had been required to innovate further when noticing at a craft fair that she no longer stood out in the market as much as she once did. This was when she began to experiemnt more with the abstract and to move into home furniture and ceramics.

Is their story or the story of their work important? Why?

The Donna Wilson story is important because it adds depth to the products. To know the origins of the creator of your product makes it seem more alive, more real. Reading the back story on the Donna Wilson website, I can picture her as a girl in the hen house making things. Seeing her as an adult now, having created a successful niche for herself doing something that she loves is inspiring, and pretty cool! It is another example of a Hollywood style ‘chase-the-dream’ story line which everyone loves to be a witness too.

In terms of how the Donna Wilson products are produced, there is emphasis on the fact they are made in the UK. The idea of a team of knitters dotted around the British Isles is quite a romantic one in itself (in my opinion), I think it adds another layer of colour to the story.

Do you value craft and craftsmanship? Why or why not?

Yes. Off the top of my head the greatest reason I value craftsmanship is for the quality of product that they produce. People take pride in their work when they make it by hand. My Dad makes guitars in his garage, if there is one that he isn’t happy with then it isn’t allowed “out of the workshop” unless its in the kindling box. I found another example on the Donna Wilson website for a ‘Creature Clinic’. Wilson sells a lot of cuddly animals, over time these will naturally get a bit tatty and battered. The Creature Clinic allows people to send their product in to be repaired (paying only for the postage), this is a wonderful idea which elongates the life of the product and shows the after sales service that can be expected. It is also something I haven’t noticed on the High Street!

Is there room for craft in modern society?

In a blog article on the website of the British Museum I found an interesting post entitled ‘What is the role and value of craft today’. In the first line the author states that the total annual turnover of contemporary craftspeople in this country is £1 Billion a year. Even before thinking about the psychological positives of something handmade, that is a lot of money.

There is definetley still room for craft in modern society. Even just looking at craft in a domestic setting, the more intense peoples lives get, the more they need to de-stress and take up some kind of craft hobby to relax. The psychological advantages to being engaged in creative activity are endless.

With the continuing development of technology and mass production, there will always be a demand for products which are unique, handmade, that have some soul. I believe that if all the professional craftspeople were to quit overnight, the minute we ran out of handmade products in the market other people would pop up to fill the gaps they had left.

Handmade, well made, products are beautiful, they fill the vaults of museums and are treasured for generations. Grayson Perrys exhibition ‘Tomb of the Unknown Craftsperson’ shows that craftsman’s work will endure long after their actual name has faded from memory.

Donnawilson.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.donnawilson.com/products/for-home/blankets?gclid=Cj0KCQiAn8nuBRCzARIsAJcdIfP6R_1V2LPk2dlZfCxtKB1DmPMuAN-cR9kvyW3jwEo34P3X0EyAdJAaAkB6EALw_wcB [Accessed 19 Nov. 2019].

Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://theearlyhour.com/2017/10/17/donna-wilson-textiles-designer/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2019].

Scotsman.com. (2019). Donna Wilson – the Scots designer on how her homeland crafts her creativity. [online] Available at: https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/donna-wilson-the-scots-designer-on-how-her-homeland-crafts-her-creativity-1-4939101 [Accessed 20 Nov. 2019].

Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/designer-dossier-donna-wilson-176990 [Accessed 20 Nov. 2019].

Victoria and Albert Museum Dundee. (2019). V&A Dundee · Make Works: Donna Wilson. [online] Available at: https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/articles/make-works-donna-wilson [Accessed 20 Nov. 2019].

The British Museum Blog. (2019). What is the role and value of crafts today?. [online] Available at: https://blog.britishmuseum.org/what-is-the-role-and-value-of-crafts-today/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2019].

Fox, K. (2019). Grayson Perry’s Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman – in pictures. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2011/sep/18/grayson-perry-tomb-of-the-unknown-craftsman-in-pictures [Accessed 20 Nov. 2019].

Part 5. Project 2. Ex 1

In this exercise I am to read a specified article from the Guardian newspaper and answer a series of questions on it.

McGuirk, J. (2019). The art of craft: the rise of the designer-maker. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/aug/01/rise-designer-maker-craftsman-handmade [Accessed 12 Nov. 2019].

Do you believe there is a demand for hand made objects and work? Why do you think that some consumers seek out these qualities in the objects they buy?

I think that there is a demand for hand made objects. They have character, they tend to be of higher quality than mass produced items and they often allow you to engage in recycling, for example by buying a great piece of furniture from a charity shop.

When it comes to a new item, the craftsmen more often than not make a point about engaging in sustainable behaviour so you can be assured that choosing their work means that you are putting the planet first too.

I haven’t a clue if there is a demand for work as craftsmen! I would assume that if there are still items being manufactured and sold then people are still required to fill those positions? I discovered from watching BBC’s ‘Have I Got News For You’ that where there are niche interests and hobbies there is a whole underground world of magasines, conventions, societies etc, maybe its the same for the world of craftsmen?

Do you think the desire for hand made products is based on a romantic perception of the hand made and a sense of post-industrial nostalgia for the pre-industrial? Why or why not?

I think every person has an element of craftsman within them. Even if they don’t make items, on some level everyone can appreciate a well made piece. For as long as I can remember there has been a constant interest in how things used to be done. I believe this is because we are so saturated with mass produced products, so used to the items that are designed to break so that we have to get a new one, that the idea that things used to be built to last is like a romantic fantasy.

I also think that people admire the skill in a handcrafted object. A machine does not care if it leaves burrs on the side of a chair leg, but a craftsman will see them and smooth them down. A machine can vacuum form plastic into a mould to form a rosette but a craftsman can chisel it by eye out of a piece of pure wood just using hand tools. A machine can make a prosthetic hand, a craftsman can make it look alive, or paint it to look like a fantasy creature!

In my opinion, so much that is hand made is better, and I guess a lot of that opinion is based on a romantic notion about someone putting their soul into something. So, to answer the question, yes I do think that the desire for hand made goods (well mine anyway) is based on a romantic perception of the hand made!

Do you feel that hand made products are viewed as luxury or value added products? How do hand made products compare with mass produced items in terms of their value, life cycle, cost and ethics?

Yes I do feel that hand made products are viewed as luxury or value added. There is an understanding that the price includes the value of the craftsman’s labour and skill in addition to the product components.

In everyday marketing there are often phrases such as ‘hand made’ or ‘crafted’ etc used to underline the luxury value of the item they are selling.

Years ago I brought a chess set from a market in Kandahar, Afghanistan. There were two available, one was obviously carved by machine out of marble, the pieces were identical and perfect. The board was made of precisely cut marble squares set into its board. The alternative chess set was obviously made by hand, very badly, potentially by bashing rocks together. Now, although I love a bit of hand-made, what I wanted was a pretty chess set so I wanted to buy the machined version. It was more expensive because it was obviously better but the man running the stall swore to me over and over again that it was hand carved. The reason for this is that people view hand made as better than machined, this market trader didn’t need to lie to me, but I could see why he did.

Hand made products are generally more expensive than mass produced counterparts, but they also tend to last longer. They are kept for longer by their owners because they have made a conscious choice to invest in that piece rather than just fill a need, that piece has greater value for them. An example of this would have been if I had brought a £5 chess set from Amazon, it probably would have found itself in the bin on my way out of the country whereas I still have my marble set 10 years later.

Hand made products have a greater chance of a longer life cycle, they are more likely to be donated or passed on rather than disposed of. Even if they break, if someone has hand made a product there is more chance that its owner can figure out how to repair it, after all, its only been built by another human!

The ethics behind the two types of product are very different too. A mass produced item is from a factory which consumes natural resources to function. If that factory is in the East then it is often not subject to the same environmentally aware regulations as the West. One example of this is in India where there are issues with textiles factories dumping waste water from the dying process into local waterways.

A hand made object is more likely to be from sustainable sources and to be made with care and attention.

Reflect on any hand made item that you own (not necessarily textiles). Can you remember why you were drawn to it? Did the fact that it was handmade make it feel ‘special’ or did you just buy it because you liked the design? How did its price compare with the industrially produced equivalent?

I have a slightly unusual item for this exercise. It’s a generic plastic moulded Egyptian Pharaoh bust, painted to look like it’s made from wood.

I was in a dusty dingy shop in Luxor, Egypt when I brought it. I was looking at some actual hand carved figures and attempting to choose a decent souvenir. Everything was fairly average until, I looked up and spotted the Pharaohs head on the shelf above me. The colouring on this thing was perfect, it looked like someone with a lot of skill had carved something quite special out of a lump of wood. I wanted it. I wanted it because things made from wood are beautiful, I wanted it because it had been produced with skill, I wanted it for all the romantic associations of smelly men on camels hawking wares to adventurous white girls. As soon as the proprietor put it in my hands I knew exactly what it was, plastic! Mass produced, injection moulded plastic. It made me laugh, and the more I pointed out to the proprietor the plastic markings from the mould, or the paintbrush marks, the more he swore that not only was it made from wood he had cut it down and carved it himself. The worse the lies got the funnier I found it, and, strangely, the more sure I was that I wanted to buy it.

Initially it was the hand made aspect which drew me into that shop. When a craftsman has made something well, it really is beautiful. What drew me to the head inparticular was the wonder at what I believed to be the craftsman skill. What made me buy it was the amusement at the sheer cheek of the man flogging it to me!

The nearest I could find to my Egyptian head online is this pottery version from the European Vintage Emporium priced for approx £55. Mine was approximatley £20 but as I said, it was mass produced plastic!

Europeanvintageemporium.com. (2019). Vintage Egyptian Pharaoh large stoneware pottery figurine head bust ornament decor circa 1980-90’s | European Vintage Emporium. [online] Available at: https://www.europeanvintageemporium.com/product/vintage-egyptian-pharaoh-large-stoneware-pottery-figurine-head-bust-ornament-decor-circa-1980-90s/?doing_wp_cron=1574145913.9684751033782958984375 [Accessed 19 Nov. 2019].

Part 5. Project 2. Research Point: Slow Design

In this exercise I am to do some research into Slow Design and make some notes on the following questions;

  1. What are the guiding principles of this movement?
  2. Do you believe this approach to design and making could have a positive impact on our consumption of products?
  3. Would you place more value on a product that has been created with this principle in mind? Why or why not?

What are the guiding principles of this movement?

The guiding principles of this movement are about greater thought. More thought has been put into the design, it is often from a more sustainable source. More thought and often time has been put into the craftsmanship, pieces are more likely to be made by hand than mass produced by machine. More thought has been put into the visual aesthetic, the materials used will often be chosen for overall look and performance rather than solely on cost. Because of this greater investment in the quality of the piece, the item will often last a lot longer than a mass produced item.

Do you believe this approach to design and making could have a positive impact on our consumption of products?

Yes. I believe that when people put more thought into what they are buying, and choose an item that suits all their requirements, they are more likely to be satisfied for longer. This will mean that they do not require a replacement product and therefore do not need to shop for alternatives, using more resources. The satisfaction of the customer could be down to the look of the item, the quality, or the performance.

Recycling is something which Im pleased to see gaining more prominence lately. The idea that you don’t need to buy new furniture is one which has been a long time coming. This is one way for people to show their commitment towards sustainability, having a look at the second hand market first to see if they can find something which meets their needs.

As an example, I brought a beautiful old carved wooden and red leather armchair from a charity shop. I love it, it looks incredible, it’s wonderfully comfy and the only way I’ll be parted from it is if my house burns down. The quality of the product means I will not need a replacement anytime soon and the handmade look is so good that it is in no danger of being disposed of.

When people are surrounded by a world in which they are constantly bombarded by key messages such as ‘plastic is bad’, they are less likely to choose to purchase it themselves. The more companies that make a point of explaining how they consider sustainability in their products, the more likely consumers are to realise that it is an issue they need to consider. The 1990’s and 2000’s were full of consumerism and mass production of faceless articles. In recent years there has been a noticeable swing back towards the handmade, I believe this is the desire for individuality reasserting itself. We could all have the same bookshelf from Ikea, or you could get one for half the price and twice the quality from the nearest furniture recycling depot. Individually made items have more soul in them, an identity that cannot be cloned by a machine, and that is one of the things that makes them special.

Would you place more value on a product that has been created with this principle in mind? Why or why not?

Yes I would place more value on a product that has been created with this principle in mind, providing that it met both my budget and my visual taste. Budget is king for me, if I need a kitchen table then ideally I would love a handmade beast with carved table legs, the kind of thing that looks like its been dragged out of Blenheim Palace. What I have instead is one which I made out of railway sleepers and some batons, because they were free. Thanks to a disc sander and a pot of wood stain it is the same colour as the tables at Blenheim Palace and I don’t get splinters every time I pick up my soup spoon, but there the similarities end!

If I had the budget for it, and visually the item appealed to me, then I would choose the handmade table over the mass produced version because I place more value on the principles behind it. I support the sustainability cause where I can, but frankly it comes down to budget, needs and necessity on a case by case basis.

En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Slow design. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_design [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

TreeHugger. (2019). What is Slow Design, And Where Did It Come From?. [online] Available at: https://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/what-slow-design-and-where-did-it-come.html [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

Archiblox. (2019). The Slow Design Movement. [online] Available at: https://www.archiblox.com.au/slow-design-movement/ [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

Diopd.org. (2019). [online] Available at: https://diopd.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Book_of_Inspiration_SlowDesign.pdf [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

Spacey, J. (2019). What is Slow Design?. [online] Simplicable. Available at: https://simplicable.com/new/slow-design [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

Anon, (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-5-principles-of-the-slow-design-movement-240942 [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

Raaf.org. (2019). [online] Available at: http://raaf.org/pdfs/Slow_Design_Principles.pdf [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

Part 5. Project 1. Ex 2

In this exercise I am to choose a product which has been marketed as environmentally sound, ethically produced, green or sustainable. I am then to determine its credentials, and through research, determine whether or not the marketing/labeling is accurate.

My subject for this exercise is peanut butter by Meridian.

Image result for meridian peanut butter"

I chose this because in the supermarket I normally go for the cheapest variation of a product I can find but choose to ignore this when it comes to peanut butter. What makes me choose this brand is the marketing, I get a combined message of healthy ingredients and planet friendly.

The planet friendly message is communicated through the use of the monkey on the right hand side holding up the message ‘no palm oil’. The consequences of unsustainable palm oil harvesting was recently highlighted through last years (2018) Christmas advert by Iceland. This sparked a consumer move away from products containing the oil.

Youtube.com. (2019). YouTube. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oA10-oZi4Xc [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].

Examination of the label shows that the image of health is promoted through several different ways. The ingredients list has only three (all naturally occurring) items. The photographs on the label are of healthy items. The illustrative elements of the label show a basic representation of happy people emerging from a rising sun, and as previously mentioned, there is a smiling monkey holding up a sign that announces the lack of palm oil. In addition the item appears to be ‘Made in the UK’ which implys that it should have a low carbon footprint.

I then proceded to the website http://www.meridianproducts.co.uk to attempt to learn more about the origin of their ingredients.

There is an entire page dedicated to their avoidance of Palm Oil and their work with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation who rescue orphans displaced by Palm Oil harvesting and, after rehabilitation, return them to the wild. Meridian have adopted 8 of the 8000 orphans currently looked after by the charity.

I was interested in how, after the emphasis on the UK manufacturing, they would cover the origins of their nuts which I believe mostly originate from far abroad. Within their own FAQ’s I found a list of their nuts points of origin;

seeds and nuts
Meridian. (2019). Frequent questions. [online] Available at: https://shop.meridianfoods.co.uk/pages/faqs [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].

There was also information about the honey harvesting. The website states that they ” do not advocate wing clipping or the killing-off of weak, older queen bees to re-strengthen colonies. We do our utmost to ensure that our partners and suppliers in origin have ethical policies in place, which we audit”. I would be interested to know quite how the audits are carried out, one of my secondary duties at work is on a process audit team so I know what a nice woolly statement like “do our utmost” can be.

I looked around online but could not find any further information about audit policies or inspection criteria.

To answer the question at the start of the exercise, I believe that as a company Meridian are taking the most sustainable approach that they can, however their product, due to the nature of the beast is one which is doomed to have a high carbon footprint.

Wonderopolis.org. (2019). How Many Peanuts Are In a Jar Of Peanut Butter?. [online] Available at: https://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-many-peanuts-are-in-a-jar-of-peanut-butter [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].

Greenerpackage.com. (2019). Peanut butter jar lightens up 90% | Greener Package. [online] Available at: https://www.greenerpackage.com/source_reduction/peanut_butter_jar_lightens_90 [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].

Cars.uark.edu. (2019). [online] Available at: https://cars.uark.edu/resources-reports/Peanut_Report.pdf [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].

Part 5. Project 1. Ex 1

How would you define sustainability?

I would define sustainability as a process which does not cause depletion or damage to resources or environment. For example, if you throw away a damaged book it should be recycled into a new book, not thrown into landfill.

In what contexts is sustainability an issue?

Sustainability is an issue in many areas thanks to the worlds obsession with money (which I totally understand, I just wish people were a bit more thoughtful about how they go after it).

Areas I can think of where sustainability is an issue

  • CO2 emissions in the atmosphere – pollution levels in the air- air quality made unsustainable
  • Fossil Fuels – depletion of a finite resource – unsustainable
  • The destruction of the worlds trees – oxygen production – air quality made unsustainable
  • Plastic – lives forever in landfill – infiltrating the ecosystem – food source quality and landfill capacity made unsustainable
  • Textiles – requires vast natural resources to realise – capacity of the natural environment to absorb the toll made unsustainable
  • NHS – attempting to fix a society increasingly subject to large quantities of lifestyle based disease in addition to normal illness/injury – capacity to cope made unsustainable
  • Housing – the planet has too many people yet there is still relentless breeding taking place, so people build on green spaces to house the people, which kills the environment, which people then complain about, and somehow it’s always someone else’s fault – Unsustainable
  • Meat consumption -currently a hot topic – linked to toll on atmosphere and the ridiculous number of people on the planet – meat production has been made unsustainable
  • The public interest in Brexit! – endless debates over a course of years with no real decisions – interest in Brexit is rapidly becoming unsustainable 😉

How do you think sustainability might be addressed in relation to the production and consumption of textiles and other manufactured products?

I can think of a few ways in which the sustainability of textiles and manufactured products could be addressed. First, increased public awareness. As I said previously, I would class myself as reasonably well informed about matters concerning the planet, I had absolutely no idea about the toll the textile industry has on the environment. If I don’t know then there will be others that don’t either. With increased awareness will come more local efforts at recycling, more individuals donating clothes to charity shops for a second life and more awareness about choosing the right article to buy in the first place.

This leads me on to shopping choices. When people became more conscious of the need to eat less meat, they brought more vegetarian meals, when plastic became a known issue, franchises had to do away with straws. If a similar demand can be made in the area of textiles, more response will be required from the textile industry to look at sustainability. This could be something as simple as recycling more cloth and including it in their new creations as either a whole or a percentage such as Levis who now use recycled plastic to make jeans . It could even be a feature item such as a ‘jumper for life’.

H+M are one store which are making a public move towards a more sustainable approach with recycled elements in their clothing and a lot more information about their manufacturing processes on their website.

Another way to aid sustainability could be by varying the materials used to make the textiles. I found an interesting article entitled ‘The top 10 sustainability trends coming out of textile exchange’. In it it describes the notion of the circular economy and how companies are starting to move towards it. There were some interesting examples of these moves towards sustainability involving crops such as a company called ‘Orange Fibers’ which makes a silk-like fabric out of orange peel. Another named Vegea has used grape skin to make a fabric similar to leather, this initiative is being backed by H+M.

Making recycling easier for people could be another way to help sustainability. Maybe something like a recycling deposit box in-store? If. for example, I’m going to Primark for a replacement top, it’s easy enough for me to take my old broken one there at the same time and put it in a recycling bin.

The last method I can think of to aid sustainability is to relocate clothes manufacturing. If English peoples clothes were made in England the monetary costs would be higher, but the carbon footprint of each item would be a lot less. A byproduct of that would probably be that we’d not be able to afford to buy clothes…which would drive us all to the charity shops….which would cause better recycling but then unemployment within the clothing factories….oh it’s complicated!

( Study.com. (2019). Textile Industry & Sustainability | Study.com. [online] Available at: https://study.com/academy/lesson/textile-industry-sustainability.html [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].)

Donaldson, T. (2019). The Top 7 Sustainability Trends Coming Out of Textile Exchange. [online] Sourcing Journal. Available at: https://sourcingjournal.com/topics/sustainability/top-7-sustainability-trends-coming-textile-exchange-td-74311/ [Accessed 10 Nov. 2019].