The centuries-old tradition of handiwork—making a patchwork quilt, darning socks, patching jeans—is explored through the lens of sustainability at an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse seeks to draw attention to the environmental impact of industrial textile practices that fill up landfills with remnants from yarn, textile and clothing production instead of reusing these materials.
Running through April 16, 2017, the exhibit features the work of three designers from three continents who are known for incorporating sustainability into their work: Luisa Cevese, founder of Milan-based design studio Riedizioni; Christina Kim, founder of Los Angeles-based brand dosa; and Reiko Sudo, cofounder of Tokyo textile design firm Nuno.
“Scraps” explores practices that at one time were second nature to homemakers and craftspeople, including efficient use of materials and resources, the preservation of local craft traditions and the integration of new technologies in the recycling process.
Visitors can view more than 40 works, including tabletop accessories and handbags refashioned from silk selvage scraps by Cevese, appliquéd panels produced from recycled jamdani saris by Kim, and a variety of fabrics woven from kibiso, a luxury fiber Sudo developed using discarded parts of the silk cocoon.
Educational programs tailored to students, children and adults, and a panel discussion with the designers is also part of the exhibit. For more information, visit www.cooperhewitt.org.