ON FASHION AND SUSTAINABILITY: ‘’Unwasted’’, The Mountains of Problems in the Fashion Industry
Otherworldly clothes, fierce models and lavish fashion shows are the three elements consistently used to build and sell the idea of an exclusive and perfectly active fashion industry.
But what if we could see behind those breathtaking runway experiences and lush outfits? Would the experience equivalently parallel the beauty that this industry only wants us to see?
As a sustainable ready-to-wear brand, we often wonder: could there be a way to showcase the sad and ugly truth of what a careless industry is really causing to our environment? Recently, that truth has been perfectly pictured, not too long ago in one of Qatar’s creative art spaces: M7.
Aldana Al Mesnad, Jawaher Al Ahmed, Reem Al Sehlawi and Sara Al Mesnad are the collective team behind ‘’Unwasted’’, a local initiative that unapologetically educates fashion's consumers and manufacturers and exposes them to the causes and effects of their unconscious behavior.
These 4 Qatari women are the pivotal architects responsible for the visual representation that was featured at M7: mountains and piles of clothing that symbolize the terrible impact of unconscious production and consumption practices within the fashion industry. This display was a literal representation of problems piling up, caused by an industry that produces a lot of stock to satisfy consumers needs while ignoring the serious repercussions of such practices on our eco-system.
So much of the clothes produced in various fashion houses ends up getting discarded. And most of the time, even leftover fabrics from production are left hanging without a single conscious thought, except for letting them hit the waste bin.
It’s bad enough that most of the materials going to waste were produced using synthetic fibers and chemical based treatments that pollute the air we breathe, but what also needs to be common knowledge is that these synthetic materials will not just disappear in the blink of an eye, synthetic fabrics are completely non-biodegradable because they weren’t made from natural resources and unlike their 100% natural counterparts, at the end of their life cycle they will end piling up in landfills just like the realistically artistic display in these photos.
With global populations increasing by the decade, demand for affordable clothes will automatically increase as well. So, while this platforms’ efforts might not be directly fixing any problem, it’s still a step in the right direction.
An installation like ‘’Unwasted’’ doesn’t merely highlight the environmental impact of unconscious practices in the fashion industry, but also influences the current and upcoming generations of designers. The exhibition at M7 was another conversation starter and eye-opening event that will encourage local and regional brands to implement more conscious and ethical practices in their design and production process, and follow in the footsteps of so many designers who are relentlessly working on developing techniques and business models in order to shift the scales and slow down the machine.
Article by: Khaled Alameh
Image Courtesy: Unwasted