Submitted by Nikyta Palmisani
Drowning in clothes? Us too!
Fast fashion has been inundating the world and Lopez Island with a sea unwanted of textiles for many decades. Pre-pandemic, Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District shipped off nearly 50,000 lbs of textiles per year sending them to the Goodwill Industries. But since the pandemic, breaks in the supply chains of global transport have made textile recycling nearly impossible for islanders. Therefore there are around 5,000 lbs of textiles currently being stored in a shipping container on site at LSWDD, without many easily achieved options for getting them into reuse or recycle.
Enter October’s ReMakery Makers in Residence: Matia Indigo Jones and Jessica McCullough. These two artists are both focused on textile reuse, visible mending, and restoring garments to both usability and beauty during their month long residency. In their upcoming art show “Wardrobes of Reclaimed Beauty” on Friday, November 12 from 5-7 pm, McCullough and Jones are exploring ancient technologies like mending, darning, and small alterations to resurrect otherwise discarded garments and thus interrupt the waste stream of disposable fashion culture.
McCullough is exploring the recently popularized practice of Visible Mending. This technique combines embroidery and stylized, purposeful image making to mend holes and tears or other imperfections in otherwise usable garments. She taught a class on visible mending in October. There are many newly published books on this style, some of which are for sale at the Lopez Bookshop, and which McCullough is using as inspiration for her work. These books are on display in the window of the ReMakery over her Maker in Residence workspace and will be on display at the exhibition.
Jones is exploring small repairs, alterations, and fabric dying to resurrect high quality garments that could still have many good years left in them. She is offering a free class called “Minimal Effort Upcycling” on Wednesday, November 10th from 5-7 pm where participants are invited to bring in articles of clothing that only need simple changes, repairs or alterations to become beautiful and wearable once more. Please RSVP to Nikyta Palmisani at email@example.com to reserve your class space.
There will be gorgeous pieces of reclaimed clothing available for sale at the opening. Purchasing these beautified items helps build the local circular economy and support island artists and entrepreneurs while simultaneously reducing the consumption of new items that use virgin resources. This is also a wonderful antidote to online holiday gift buying anxiety.