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A TASTE FOR WASTE
Sunday, 12 July 2009
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Sometimes you find yourself far away from home, disconnected to the internet, next to a swimming pool, talking to the coolest eco fashion people. Like in Brazil three weeks ago where I met Taylor from Portland. Taylor speaks a thousand languages and makes a living with that, but prefers her work as an eco fashion incubator. Recycling waste is her passion and she creates the funkiest stuff out of car tyres, ribbons and other scrap material. Her organization Red Semilla Roja has brought her to exciting places like Lebanon where she exhibited her work and that of fellow eco designers in a travelling expo. In Rio she works with art students, curators and independent artists on creating works for the Live Debris exhibition.

Last week I was in Ljubljana where Smetumet does similar work. They design and sell fashion from old umbrella´s, newspapers and plastic bags which they knit into new designs. To inspire others, they also give workshops for adults and children on how to create products from waste. A separate part of their website shows which scrap materials you can bring to their atelier in order to allow them a new life. The collaborative of artists views waste as being a mirror of the problems we face in society and wants to give value to waste instead of ignoring it. Their philophical approach to the topic stresses the three re´s of recycling, responsibility and redefinition of the consumer wish to own a lot. Their DIY projects build on grandmother´s knowledge of handicraft techniques which I get a glimpse of in Ljubljana´s beautiful Etnographic Museum.

The downsides of being on the move so much is that last minute wedding planning lands on the shoulders of my beloved M.A. The advantages are global inspiration and a growing collection of unique eco fashion pieces. Who said she´s tired of travelling?

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