Hacking Post-Consumer Waste
Individual / Group / Discussion
Collect / Comprehend / Create
EU regulations (Green Deal Circular Economy Action Plan) refers to the need to raise circularity in the textile and fashion industry. As most of the production takes place outside of the EU, the biggest problem inside the EU results in post-consumer waste. Currently, only 1% is recycled and around 25% reused. By 2025 EU member states will be required to collect textile waste separately and circulate it. There are many issues with post-consumer waste, namely the complexity of materials and the lack of sufficient amounts of mono-materials is a great challenge regarding upcycling or recycling. This problem can be used to inspire students to design circular products in the future and support achieving higher recyclability of post-consumer textile waste.
How can we increase recycling and circularity through design?
Links to Pillar(s)
Cultural - Economic - Environmental - Social
STEP 1: GROUP OR INDIVUDAL
Students collectively spend a day in a post-consumer waste sorting centre analysing different materials and qualities. As an outcome, they increase their understanding of consumer behaviour and identify discarded patterns.
STEP 2: GROUP OR INDIVUDAL
Students pick the type of materials they want to use for their creative upcycling project (e.g. wool, old radios, denim, etc.)
STEP 3: GROUP OR INDIVUDAL
Students are asked to produce design prototypes (not limited to clothing or commercially viable products). They learn from ready-made products and make a prototype. Students reflect on how to communicate and exhibit the outcomes, and works are exposed to the wider audience.
Watson, D., Kant Hvass, K., Moora, H., Martin, K., Nausėdė, V., Gurauskiene, I., Akule, D. (2020) Post-consumer textile circularity in the Baltic Countries. Current Status and Recommendations for the Future. Nordic Council of Ministers.
Binotto, C. & Payne, A. (2017) The Poetics of Waste: Contemporary Fashion Practice in the Context of Wastefulness, Fashion Practice, 9:1, 5-29