Category Archives: Oil

Updated Pieces

I wanted to post an update on my sustainable style midterm project. So far, I have been working off of the idea of upcycling old garments into new pieces, as well as creating original garments out of scrap materials leftover from previous projects. I have created a new pair of jeans from an old, oversized pair. The pants were originally black coated denim, but through wear became a charcoal color. I dip-bleached the color out of the bottom to get the two-tone effect. I then altered the fit through two seams running up the front of the legs. The design of the pants, was inspired by the imagery I found in my visual research of the large pools of wastewater created through the process of fracking.

This process also inspired the top that I have paired with these pants. I have created a shirt in four panels, using the grain lines to create converging lines in a downward formation. The fabric and construction plays into the ideas of the geological formations, gas, oil, and ground water, which are interrupted in the process of fracking.

I wanted to allude to the process of fracking as outlined by the EPA, which consists of 5 stages. The stages are as listed: Water Acquisition, Chemical Mixing, Well Injection, Flowback and Produced Water, and Wastewater Treatment and Waste Disposal. I believe this look beings to explore the ideas of fracking and the damage that it does to the environment. By connecting this form of consumerism of fossil fuels to the consumerism of fashion, I hope to begin a conversation about sustainability.

 

I cannot wait to see how Alex will frame these garments with his photography.

A Note on Process

With my compiled and expanded research, I sat down to brainstorm how my concept of merging environmental image and clothing might manifest in the made garments. I envisioned upcycling denim, using recycled and leftover fabrics, and adding in unconventional materials in order to create these looks. They will mirror aspects of the environmental imagery they renderings are imposed on through color, silhouette, texture, or material. I have begun to find old garments that I will be using as well as excess materials I have found to recycle. I am curious to explore the deconstruction and reconstruction aspects of this process and how they may tie to relate to our connection to the environment. Pictured below are my initial ideas.

Standing with Standing Rock #NoDAPL

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As police are now using Facebook check-ins to target those in protest at Standing Rock, people are taking to social media to support the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline by checking in to the Standing Rock Reservation via Facebook to dilute the check-in system and stand in solidarity with those physically protesting at Standing Rock.

Internet activism is not particularly new, and it is far from perfect.  It is not necessarily the best way to participate but it is the most accessible and in the end it is an incredibly effective means to raise awareness about issues and start conversations around them.  It’s amazing to see people taking a public stance at the intersection of an environmental and human rights issue.  Making climate change a tangible issue to the public can be difficult as its effects are not often seen immediately, but when factors of climate change are directly correlated to human rights as well I think it is easier for people to sympathize with and take action to fight the unjust.  Issues such as the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Sioux reservation exhibit how human lives, particularly an indigenous tribe, are being displaced by actions of large corporations extremely similar to many of the articles we read last week concerning Monsanto and Dartmouth.  This directly reflects how the U.S. government has continued to marginalize Native American communities.  The $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline would carry over 570,000 barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois.  Not only would this harm the surrounding environment and jeopardize safe drinking water, but sacred burial grounds and cultural traditions would be destroyed in the process.

The gallery below is just a few of the increasing posts I saw when scrolling through Facebook in the last couple of days. If there is an issue that you believe in, there is always something you can do even if it is as simple as clicking a button and sharing a link:

 

Transparency through Fashion

Within our day-to-day lives, it can be difficult to see past what is only visible on the surface. We choose to investigate, dig deeper, and find out how the world around us is functioning. Often times, we rely on visual cues to set us into question. Through connecting these visuals to our investigative work, we aim to find answers that connect with our bank of knowledge. Once we find transparency, we often want to share this with others and make it more accessible to them than it was to us.

The film, “Merchants of Doubt” set me into thinking about this idea of transparency between consumer, company, and in this case, our third party, the environment. The tool used by these big CPA’s was doubt. The doubt acted as a layer of opacity, blocking the consumers from being able to pull back the curtain, and view the truth of the situation. This idea of transparency is a driving force in the concept of my midterm project in which I would like to explore the lines of capitalism and the environment through clothing.

The article, “The Fashion Industry and Its Impact on the Environment and Society” brings a level of awareness to the destructive impacts the fashion industry, specifically fast fashion, has on the environment globally. It is claimed “that the garment industry is the world’s second biggest world polluter” although it is hard to decipher exactly what impact it is having as the production process is much larger than one might think. The process spans the agriculture of fibers, manufacturing textiles, dying, printing, bleaching, construction, and shipping and that is only up to the point of the sale of the garment. In this line of manufacturing is the demand for water, fertilizers, dye chemicals, and waste in product.

Past its life on the line of manufacturing, a garment may be worn and then discarded as the next style comes in. A garment is either then resold, or disposed of. Only 15% of discarded clothing is resold or recycled. As highlighted by the article, the resale of clothing may not be a globally conscious act. It states, “not only does the availability of such a great quantity of second-hand clothes create unemployment within the garment sector of developing countries, but it also negatively impacts economic growth and destroys the designs inspired by local cultures and traditions.” This is not something the average consumer would know or be expected to infer even though it is something they interact with daily.

Fashion is not only a form of expression, but it is a form of communication. We send a message to those around us with our dress. I want to tap into this tool for communication to bring the issues discussed about capitalism and the environment to the forefront. Bringing these topics into our every day through dress allows it to be more visible. Placing it in context of our own bodies brings a point of interest to the closeness of these issues.

The looks will be created through styling, constructing new pieces, and altering old clothing. I plan to use the process of upcycling, taking an old garment and creating something new from it, as a key part of these conversational pieces. Putting these larger devices in conversation with one another, I hope to create curiosity and questioning. I aim to use my visual tools to set others into question and find a new level of transparency.

 

Shown below is the beginnings of my visual research aiming to begin a vocabulary of the organic, inorganic, human, non-human, industrial, and natural and how they may manifest themselves in art and fashion.