From Workshop to Wardrobe – Recreating fashion at M7

From Workshop to Wardrobe – Recreating fashion at M7

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes that you don’t wear? You are not alone. Clothing and textile waste has drastically gone up in the last 15 years, where the number of times a garment is worn has declined by 36%. As per Earth.org, every year 1.92 million tonnes of textiles waste is produced, leading to a loss of $500 billion annually because of under-wearing and failing to recycle clothes.

So, what can you do about it?

The British Council and M7 has launched a unique initiative as part of the Qatar UK Festival 2023 running till November 25, 2023 under the theme Sustainability and Communities. Curated by M7, the initiative called ‘Cut from the same cloth’ stemmed from the idea to gather a diverse group of individuals from the community and have conversations about the need to consume less and recycle, using it as a metaphor for reinvention.

The installation on the 1st floor of M7, is not just a museum exhibit but more of a backdrop for the conversation on recycling and is a very hands-on initiative where visitors are encouraged to touch and feel, and cut and sew.

The brains behind ‘Cut from the same cloth’ is Teresa Albor, British American artist, designer, entrepreneur and activist, currently working in Doha, London and Dhaka. A cultural producer, Teresa collaborates with people who are committed to changing the world for good on initiatives focused on sustainable practices. She is also the coordinator and designer for the Bangladesh-based Re/DRESS fashion brand that uses nearly 100% recycled post-industrial cotton waste / recycled polyester fibre.

“We are now consuming twice as many clothes in the last decade, than we had previously. We have a huge problem with over-consumption and waste of textiles and clothing,” said Teresa.

 “As part of this initiative, we have collected clothes from the community and are giving clothes a new life, either my making something new out of them, recycling them or even just letting anyone just come and take any clothes they want, provided they promise to wear them, “ she added.

The installation, which has over 40 volunteers, has three main focus areas:

Making and Repairing: There is a workshop space where anyone can come and repair old clothes or make something new from them. This section is open to all visitors.

Sharing Clothes: Visitors can choose any clothes they want from the donated clothes and take it with them, just as long as they commit to wearing them. The initiative also encourages the idea of handing down cherished clothing items through generations.

Industrial Recycling: Pure cotton clothes, scraps, waste plastic bottles etc. are collected and sent to the Re/DRESS factory in Bangladesh to reduce them into fiber and re-spinning them into yarn, and knitting or weaving them into new textiles. A few samples of such “made from rubbish” clothes from the Re/DRESS brand are on display and available for sale.

“The installation spans from something very intimate – where you have a garment that is very precious to you and you hand it down from generation to generation - to an industrial scale where you recycle textiles. You can also upcycle clothes using embroidery, making and crafting it into something new,“ said Teresa.

The installation has had multiple workshops for school children and others, where they learn how to make things using clothes or help the volunteers to pick and sort clothes.

“We have had a huge outpouring of donations and I feel in Qatar there is a lot of interest in a place where you can donate your clothes. The children’s clothes are going to an orphanage in Uganda but for the others I feel there is no need to ship clothes out of Qatar. There are plenty of people who people in the country who could use them, and I don’t just mean those of a low-income but people like you and me,” she said.

Teresa, who is against fast fashion, is herself wearing clothes taken from the initiative.

So, this weekend, skip shopping at the malls, and head over to M7 and pick out something pre-loved, and give it a new life. And if you have a forgotten, unused T-shirt, get crafty and learn to turn it into a stylish handbag.

The ‘Cut from the same cloth’ installation will be open at M7, first floor, till Saturday, November 25, 2023.

 

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By Think Tank• 25 Nov 2023 18:58
Think Tank

**Cut From the Same Cloth" Exhibition Celebrates Immense Success: Over 1000 Visitors and 350 Used Clothes Find New Homes**

The "Cut From the Same Cloth" exhibition, an initiative aimed at promoting sustainable fashion and reusing clothing, has concluded with resounding success, welcoming over 1000 enthusiastic visitors. Held at M7 from 20-25 November , the exhibition witnessed an overwhelming response from the community and beyond.

This unique exhibition, dedicated to fostering awareness about sustainable fashion practices, not only attracted a diverse audience but also achieved a commendable milestone by rehoming 350 pieces of used clothing. Through interactive displays, engaging workshops, and thought-provoking discussions, the exhibition successfully highlighted the importance of reducing textile waste and embracing a more sustainable approach to fashion.

The enthusiastic participation and support from visitors, local businesses, and community organizations underscore the growing interest and commitment towards embracing eco-friendly fashion choices. "Cut From the Same Cloth" served as a platform for dialogue, education, and action, inspiring attendees to reconsider their approach to clothing consumption and adopt more conscious shopping habits.

"We are thrilled by the overwhelming response and the impact 'Cut From the Same Cloth' has had on our community," remarked Suparna Das Purkaystha a fellow volunteers ,the driving force behind the exhibition. "The number of visitors and the rehoming of 350 clothing items demonstrate a collective commitment to sustainability and a willingness to make a positive difference in the fashion industry."

The success of this exhibition stands as a testament to the growing consciousness and eagerness to contribute to a more sustainable future. "Cut From the Same Cloth" has not just been an exhibition; it has sparked a movement towards a more mindful and environmentally conscious fashion landscape.

M7 & The British council extends its gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of "Cut From the Same Cloth" and invites continued participation in fostering a more sustainable world through conscious fashion choices.

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