Waste not, wear not – rethinking fashion and sustainability

Image by Tim Doldissen

As a recent UTS Design graduate, and a finalist in the upcoming Social Changemakers Exhibiton and Art Prize, Rachel Rodwell wants to make us think about the impact what we wear has on the environment.

Her unique label ‘Podtex’ uses waste packaging to create innovative textile pieces and digitally-printed fabrics that create awareness and provoke thought around sustainability in fashion.

This fascinating production video shows Rachel creating magnificent textiles out of used Nespresso Coffee pods.

PODTEX from Tim Doldissen on Vimeo.

“I am trying to create awareness by starting a serious conversation in a playful way about waste in the environment, particularly with how we all consume clothing and food,” says Rachel.

“We do not have the luxury to continue on as we have – using so much packaging in just a coffee and accepting all the perils associated with fast fashion garments,” she says.

“These garments really are not a bargain. The environment and the people who manufactured them get short changed in the process.”

Rachel got her inspiration for Podtex on a recent trip to India, where she witnessed the local people up-cycling various materials to use in their day-to-day living. One such material was coconut fibre, which they use to make a strong rope known as coir, and finally souvenirs and paddle-powered houseboats.

“The resourceful nature of the people living in the backwaters of Kerala impressed me immensely, particularly how through necessity and ingenuity, they use what is available locally to sustain their community, without having a detrimental impact on their environment,” she says.

Rachel has been selected as a finalist in the Social Changemakers Exhibition and Art Prize. As such, she will be showing her new work of sustainable textile art, alongside other finalists at the Weave Arts Centre, Eveleigh, 13-22 April 2012.

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