The artist who I am drawn to that I have chosen to research further is Tadek Beutlich. I only discovered his work earlier this year through an exhibition of his work being shown at Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. I never managed to get there to see it but it sparked an interest in the artist and I even bought a book of his work special, which is apparently still used today by textiles students so this is very good.
What is their craft and how do they approach it in their work?
‘Tadek Beutlich sought his craft in textile weaving and printmaking. He was known for his large textile constructions and large-scale block prints that he made without using a printing press. Originally from Poland, Tadek studied at art school in Poznan and later studied in Germany and Italy before graduating from Camberwell School of Art and Crafts, London in 1950.’
http://www.emmamason.co.uk/a/tadek-beutlich?pgs=2– accessed 13th August 2017
Radiation 2 (1970)
http://www.vision-gallery.co.uk/photo_15219917.html-accessed 14th August
Do they adhere to the ideas of Slow Design? To what extent does this allow them to
take risks, experiment and innovate?
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O110360/moon-wall-hanging-beutlich-tadek/– accessed 15th August 2017.
I think his work as a weaver and a print maker does embody slow design, especially the way in which he makes his pieces. All handmade and with care and without a time frame. The use of recycled materials in his weaving work shows sustainability to the pieces and consideration to the art. The piece shown above called Moon was woven onto linen and contains ramie, camel-hair, honesty seeds, x-ray film and charred wood veneer. https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O110360/moon-wall-hanging-beutlich-tadek/– accessed 15th August 2017.
The use of such items and him weaving them into his pieces shows a slow design nature as the ingredients have to be sourced and chosen and then woven into it. His prints are large-scale and are drawn, hand pressed and printed without the use of a press. He doesn’t strike me as a rushed maker and has his own way of making and doing.
Is their story or the story of their work important? Why?
I think the main story for his pieces come from his time spent during the war. His obituary states;
‘Beutlich was born in Lwówek, Poland. His father ran a delicatessen and a confectionery factory. When Tadek was eight, financial problems forced the family to move to Poznan, where he eventually enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts on a scholarship. He underwent training in ceramics, stained glass, weaving and sculpture (to which he was particularly drawn).
After the Nazi invasion of 1939, as a Pole of German origin, he was made a German national. He studied art for a term in Weimar and at Dresden Art Academy before being drafted into the army in 1941. Training as a radio operator, he listened to BBC broadcasts, confirming his doubts about the regime he was serving. He was sent to the Russian front and to Italy and was then captured by the allies, detained in a PoW camp and released to join the Second Polish Corps, part of the British Eighth Army. Before demobilisation, he studied in Rome and visited museums in Italy.’
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/jun/24/tadek-beutlich-obituary– accessed 14th August 2017.
His work can be considered nature and earth based. Using the colours inspired by what he saw around him.
https://www.artfund.org/what-to-see/exhibitions/2016/09/17/tadek-beutlich-beyond-craft-exhibition– accessed 15th August 2017.
‘In his small bed sit, Beutlich started to weave on a simple frame, using the limited colour range of cheap darning yarns available just after the war – white, grey and black.’
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/jun/24/tadek-beutlich-obituary– accessed 14th August 2017.
Maybe as these were his only materials the work evolved to be just in these colours using all forms of them and mixtures to create his pieces?
‘Whilst in Spain, he experimented with local esparto grass and brightly coloured acrylic wool bought in the local market to make what he called “free-warp” tapestry, weaving and wrapping organic wall-hangings and freestanding pieces that looked like living organisms.
Beutlich’s last works, made on his return to Britain in 1980, refer back to the trauma of his wartime experiences. He used his off-loom techniques to create figurative groups whose collective helplessness recall Goya or Bosch, both of whom he admired.’
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/jun/24/tadek-beutlich-obituary– accessed 15th August 2017.
Do you value ‘craft’ and craftsmanship? Why or why not?
Yes I value craftsmanship. To me it is part of my everyday life and also the reason why I started this degree and for my own work I produce. I enjoy finding out about crafts and artists and how they make the things they do. I think being a photographer in a past life has enabled me to see more and feel more when it comes to design I like. I have ventured into collage and have recently started to learn printmaking but it is a massive subject so I will maybe write about that another day.
I like the aspects of finding out who the maker is and what they are about, searching for their work and seeing their process. I find that quite cathartic and makes it all the more special.
Is there room for craft in modern society?
Of course there is! As more people make and get involved in different crafts they will be seen and their work championed and with the social media and endless sharing it can only get better. Just typing in glass makers or glass artists in a search for example brings up so many artists and designers. My favourite will always be John Piper but it is these kinds of searches that increase awareness of designers and crafts.
hathttps://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/aug/01/rise-designer-maker-craftsman-handmade– accessed 7th August 2017.
After reading the above article;
Do you believe there is a demand for hand-made objects and work? Why do you think that some consumers seek out these qualities in the objects they buy?
I do believe that there is a high demand for hand made objects and craftsmanship and work that is solely handmade. I think that consumers want to feel part of the items they are buying. They want to believe it is maybe a one off made just for them or a limited run so the purchasing of such items from the artist who made it, is a personal thing. To be able to see something either online or in a magazine you like and look for it to find that it is made by a small business who puts time and energy into every piece gives it a story that people like. They will repeat the story and others will want the same. The consumers that will seek out these qualities are those that want these stories and to be able to have something different. To be able to search and maybe even help with the design of an item and to have it all for them. The article mentions the process of items being seen as well as talked about so artists and makers can show their process online by the means of blogs, social media and films. This then gets into peoples design mode and they want to be a part of the item that is being made.
Do you think the desire for hand-made products is based on a romantic perception of the hand-made and a sense of ‘post-industrial nostalgia for the pre-industrial’? Why or why not?
Nostalgia is a big thing and it is always around and forever will be. 70’s kitsch and modernism have made a big comeback in recent years and mid century being spoken about the 50’s style of living and home. The whole post industrial nostalgia thing I don’t think is really with us anymore as people don’t want to go back to it but they do borrow ideas such as weaving and coopering and reinventing them for now.
I think if you are craft minded and like art and making things the sight of something old in a shop that has been handmade may fill you with more joy than buying straight out of a retail shop. I think consumers still want the old ways and like certain items as ‘one offs’ but aren’t ready to give up all the new instant things they can find by researching and ultimately buying from artists and craftspeople. To know that something has been handmade for them gives them pleasure and a belonging to the item. To know it has been made for you personally makes it special and you will champion the artist all the way afterwards. The romance of the item could be to do with this connection and belonging and if you had a personal connection with the artist over the item and saw it being made at different stages the romantic notion of it all being for you may bring that out.
Do you feel that hand-made products are viewed as luxury or value added products? How do hand-made items compare with mass-produced items, in terms of their value, life cycle, cost and ethics?
The maker has to price the items right for the work involved and make a profit and have a happy customer. Equipment needs to be bought, it has to be made and all the while keeping a rapport with the customer. Mass produced items that can be mistaken for handmade one offs could be certain things found in IKEA and Habitat and the odd thing found in John Lewis. These items, lets say a lamp, can look very stylish and as if it was made just for you. You buy it and take it home, you like it for a while but it loses its timeless quality as you see that they are everywhere. In the old ladies window down the street, in the dentists, even in charity shops making them secondhand and no longer needed so they find new homes.
If you bought a lamp that was made by an craftsman just for you, that you liked and would never get tired of, it would be with you forever. You would move it from room to room over time. Take it with you to new places, store it in your dads loft for a while but always come back to as it is perfect and it is your lamp that nobody else has. The life-cycle of the lamp you have had designed outweighs your 5 minute being chuffed design piece from a retailer as it has been made and constructed to last forever. This then outweighs the cost and time to make as it is a keeper.
Reflect on any hand-made item you own (not necessarily textiles). Can you remember why you were drawn to it? Did the fact that it was hand-made make it feel ‘special’ or did you just buy it because you liked the design? How did its price compare with the industrially produced equivalent?
The hand-made item I’ve chosen to show and reflect upon is a knitted blue monkey made out of wool that my boyfriend bought for me when were first dating. I don’t know where he was made or how old he is but I am guessing 1970’s.
I used to collect knitted toys when I was little and I foolishly sold them all at a car boot. I like that he is imperfect, that maybe a Nan knitted him for her grandchildren or to sell at the church fete. I felt sad that he had been discarded and now that he lives with me he sits on the knitted toy shelf.
You rarely see them in shops and you can’t buy toys like this brand new unless I suppose you commission them so it is a one off piece that I am glad to own.
I suppose he acts as those ‘first dating gifts’ that you may buy each other when you are first together and he acts to me as a moment for this time.
All links and websites accessed 7th August 2017.
What is slow design?
‘Slow Design refers to the goals and approach of the designer, rather than the object of the design. In this way a Slow Design approach can be used within any design field. The term was probably first coined by Alistair Fuad-Luke in his 2002 paper “‘Slow Design’ – a paradigm for living sustainably?”, in which Slow Design is seen as the next step in the development of sustainable design, balancing individual, sociocultural, and environmental needs.
While Fuad-Luke focused on the design of physical products, the concept can be applied to the design of non-material things such as experiences, processes, services, and organisations. In fact, Slow Design may be seen as a path toward the de-materialisation required for long-term sustainability as it takes into account the non-material nature of human well being and happiness.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_design-accessed 13th July 2017.
A way of life it seems, the origins of slow design are said to be from the slow food movement which aimed for people to eat better and cook their own things. I thought it was about slow making such as growing something or making a large art piece. I didn’t know it was a complete ‘thing’ that takes into account everything about the design and sustainability and the needs of the person who will be using it and the needs of the item itself.
The attitudes of ourselves and designers have taken on board this movement and everything from where an item came from, the making, the place it was made, who by and then integrating that into a buyers life, who will use it? will it be passed on? will it last?
I suppose if people are willing to pay for things that have a story and will last and have been made well then the impacts of its footprint and lifespan will be welcomed more than a cheap table that is mass-produced and will break within a year.
Environmental concerns are big within this practice as items can be made as a one-off by local crafts people and the process is one of care and importance to a buyer and the surrounding area.
I like that it is called slow movement as to me it allows you to have a minute and think about what is going on, the things that are being made, the process, the equipment and the time to create. I wouldn’t think it is ‘dead slow’ so that you only make one chair or cardigan a year but slow enough to think about it and all it entails rather than a mass-produced item which is profit based.
I think that if crafts people and designers can be honest about their work and the way in which it is studied and made then they may change people’s attitudes towards the ways in which they buy things. Money will always be an issue and some people may not want to pay extra or will as a one-off, but you have to hope that they keep the pieces they have bought forever. If the idea is to consume less and buy less but spend more on quality when someone isn’t used to that then it could be an issue. If people cannot see the benefit of waiting or stripping down what they have instead of nipping to IKEA to get a cheap lamp then they wont change their ways.
I would definitely fall into the whole story of an item and the tales it could tell, how it was made, the story of the person who made it as I like this kind of thing. Backgrounds to objects always help and if this can be put across then your halfway there.
More links about slow design are here-
All websites and links accessed-13th July 2017.
I found this old stamp packet stuffed in a drawer. It is from May 2000. I used to collect stamps as a kid and these were from the millennium stamp collection when a new dawn in stamp collecting fell upon us and we all got chuffed for the millennium bug and the many things that were being commissioned, built and the optimism of a new century. The collection of stamps were a big endeavour and from 1999-2000 Royal Mail issued a set a month all themed and all about the UK and things that were happening. They came in bright informative packets and were deemed ‘highly collectable’ so I got sucked into them and collected the lot. Unfortunately they were not that collectable so I used all of the stamps up in temper, but for some reason ended up keeping some of the empty packets. A search on Wikipedia produced this;
‘In 1999 Royal Mail issued a series of stamps that were classified into 12 groups (known as “tales”) including Entertainment, Science & Technology and Sport, with one group released in each month during the year. The set issued in September 1999 called The Farmers’ Tale contained a 19p stamp that doubled as Royal Mail’s contribution to that year’s Europa postage stamp issue, which was on the theme of Parks and Reserves.
One of the most notable postage stamps in the collection was one commemorating the life of Queen front man (and avid stamp collector) Freddie Mercury. It caused controversy for the appearance of Roger Taylor in the background at the drums, as it is an understood rule that the only living people allowed to appear on British stamps could be members of the British Royal Family.
Other stamps featured: English football hero Bobby Moore; a picture of the structure of DNA; and a fossil of Archaeopteryx, the first known bird.
These stamps commemorated a selection of projects throughout the UK which had received funding from the Millennium Commission. The stamps were released in 12 monthly sub-collections with 4 stamps apiece, making a total of 48 stamps. So, in 1999 and 2000, some 96 millennium stamps.
The stamps featured such projects as the Eden Project, the Tate Modern art gallery, the National Space Centre and the Scottish Seabird Centre.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_stamp-accessed 12th July 2017.
And with this information I feel that I am excused as an ex stamp collector as Freddie Mercury also collected stamps so we are stamp friends.
I think I have kept this packet as I liked the wooden head and his tack beard and the poem by John Cooper Clarke. It reads;
Out of bed into the Shed
To paint the wooden roses red
To ride a rocking quadruped
With a big idea in your head
Form and function in a line
The rudiments of good design
From the oaken leg to the fine wine
To table tops of melamine
There’s nothing that you couldn’t make
No effect you couldn’t fake
A pebble sprayed with metal flake
Would make a precious paperweight
Teddy bears to stuff with stuff
Like nylon mink from a lady’s muff
Cotton balls and a powder puff
Pom poms and pocket fluff
Stainless steel and a rock hard aura
The marble glance of a lost explorer
A heavy heart for the love of Nora
Chains of flowers on a draped amphora
Time time time to slay
Each crowded hour of every day
Where indolence is kept at bay
In an arty-crafy kinda way.
What the original stamps looked like- Google image search- Click HERE for original link.
Ceramica in Stoke-On-Trent sounds like my kind of place. Lets go and look at some things! After doing a bit of searching and finding that there was no website or much about it, I feared the worst and found these words;
‘It closed in March 2011 after Stoke-on-Trent City Council withdraw its £150,000 a year funding for the day to day running of Ceramica.’
http://www.thepotteries.org/photo_wk/169.htm– accessed 12th July 2017
It is a shame really as places like this are good and have a history around them, it looks nice and interesting and would be ideal for meetings and special exhibitions now especially with all the huge arts and crafts revival that has happened since 2011. There is a piece HERE about it and HERE. I don’t know what to say about it all really as it seems a waste if all the stuff is just in boxes and people forget it ever existed.
I am not a cyclist, I didn’t pass my cycling proficiency test and I have no head for the heights or wobble that a bike entails so to type in the National Cycle Network Artworks, I was sure it would have gone the same way as Ceramica but it hasn’t!
There is a website and a map of things to see and sculptures on the trail by Andy Goldsworthy. The idea is that you can cycle on paths all traffic free into towns and cites on special routes and you can walk on them as well.
So keeping this little piece of card for 17 years has taught me something mainly, stamp collecting doesn’t bring riches, Freddie Mercury collected stamps, go to museums and exhibitions and tell people about them so that they don’t close down and pass your cycling proficiency test.
All websites and links accessed 12th July 2017.
After driving around for days trying to find this mural and after three trips to Southampton I finally did with a big ‘IT’S THERE!’
The Hamtun Street mural was designed by Henry Collins and Joyce Pallot in 1978 to decorate the facade of a Sainsbury’s superstore in the Lordshill area of Southampton. It had been hidden away for almost 20 years after being removed for regeneration of the area until it was restored in 2010 by Oliver Budd.
It shows the history of Southampton from Roman times to the 20th century and shows references to the cities maritime history and WW2.
It is 19 metres long, three metres high and made out of concrete and glass.
I love the tiles and the shapes and there is lots to take in when your up close to it.
Look at those blues, it is massive.
I was only there for five minutes and now I know where it is I will go back again.
There is a collection of their murals up near me in Stockport at the side of BHS so when I finally get round to the going to the Hat Museum I will go and see them. They could be under threat though like the Three Ships in Hull which I saw earlier this year. It is just not on.
All websites and links accessed 4th July 2017
For this exercise I have chosen to look at an object that intrigues me and I have chosen an old Smartie lid that I found on the beach in Bognor Regis.
When I was little, Smarties came in a cardboard tube and at the end of finishing your tube-usually by holding it in your mouth and letting all the smarties fall in at once, you would replace the plastic lid, chop the tube with your hand and fire off the top into the air.
http://www.thedrum.com/news/2014/09/29/nestl-creates-new-business-excellence-arm-and-redefines-its-european-zone-take-full-accessed 1st July 2017
After playing pretend rockets with the lid you always checked underneath to see which letter of the alphabet you had and you would try and collect them all to spell out your name or for swaps.
I have been sent a few lids over time that have been found on beaches mainly as I decided I wanted to start and collect them. Finding one myself was a massive deal as they are quite rare these days. As their material of choice was plastic I doubt they will ever break down.
The lid in general is probably nothing special, it is a childhood thing that since 2005 was changed to a ‘Hexa’ tube. It was a disgrace and I don’t think I have had smarties since if I am honest. There is a piece HERE about the breaking news and some of the comments are funny as it really was outrageous.
The original packet was a cardboard tube so recyclable I guess but this was a long time ago. The plastic lid however was not recyclable but maybe now they would be.
A Smarties history search said this about the lid and the alphabet letters-
The purpose of this, according to a Rowntree’s spokesperson in the 1980s, was for them to be useful as a teaching aid to encourage young children to recognise the letters. Over the last 25 years, Nestlé and Rowntree’s have manufactured five billion Smarties lids. Some lids are very rare and are now regarded as collectors’ items.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarties-1st July 2017
The feel of the lid I found is quite rough as it has been in the sea or under pebbles on the beach for years. I didn’t think I would be able to date it but miraculously there is a Smartie lid identifier! My lid is from a metric packet so dated anywhere in the mid 1970’s to the early 90’s. The letter i is underneath mine and all lower case is the metric sized lid. The components of the lid is a hard plastic with Rowntrees stamped on one side and the letter on the other, there is a small lip to open them. Don’t believe me? look here-https://www.classaxe.com/smarties/uk/lids-1st July 2017.
‘In February 2005, the Smarties tube was replaced with a hexagonal design. The rationale behind changing the design was, according to Nestlé, to make the brand “fresh and appealing” to youngsters; the new packaging is also lighter and more compact, and the lid (which is now a hinged piece of cardboard) has a card clip which holds the lid shut when it is folded over. The new lid still features a letter like the old plastic lids, but it is in the form of a “what [letter] is a [thing]?” question, the answer for which can be read when the lid is open, next to the hole giving access to the rest of the tube. The hexagonal box is made of one piece of card which is die cut then folded and glued. The hexagon can also be stacked in many layers without the pile collapsing, which is an advantage at the point of sale. The last 100 tubes to leave the factory in York had a certificate inside them.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smarties– accessed 1st July 2017
Despite the lack of plastic spoke about here and the new flatter, thinner, hexagonal, recyclable,down with kids tubes all I am wondering is ‘Who got a certificate?’ ‘I want a Smarties certificate!’
I guess that something that is more than 35 years old has held up pretty well over time. I found it in the pebble bit of the beach so it could have been there all its life or floating around in the sea. Either way apart from some damage to the side of the cap it has survived well. I have tried to search for the plastics used but there is very limited if any information about that.
I suppose my object is a little peculiar to pick but with the amount of rubbish and plastics hovering around our seas and beaches it is one piece less that is collectable and old and part of my childhood.
I think the new Hexa tubes have spoilt it all a bit. The little tiny mini pack boxes you used to get a parties have also gone but if you look here- http://crispy_liz.webs.com/englishboxesbarsbags.html– there is all-sorts of packaging they used to supply that is all plastic and dyed and used chemicals, so I then felt bad and didn’t want the tube back so much.
Looking on Nestle’s website their environmental aims to reduce their packaging say that 93% of packaging is now recycled-this is a copy of their page.
Reducing packaging weight in our supply chain
From 2014 to 2015, Nestlé UK and Ireland removed over 425 tonnes of packaging from the supply chain through a number of design changes.
We constantly reduce the weight and volume of our packaging through design innovations. For example, by harmonising carton sizes for Nescafé Café Menucappuccino stickpacks, we have been able to save more than 163 tonnes of cardboard annually. As well as saving on packaging materials, we can now fit more packs onto one pallet. That means an estimated 14% fewer lorries on the road, per tonne of coffee distributed.
Encouraging consumers to recycle plastics
We know that our consumers are keen to recycle more. However, plastic recycling is an area that is often misunderstood, with many consumers confused about which plastics can be recycled, or unaware that plastic packaging can be recycled at all.
To help address the issue, we supported Pledge4Plastics, a national initiative launched by Recoup, the UK members-based plastics recycling organisation. The aim of Pledge4Plastics is to raise consumer awareness of the benefits of recycling plastics and to give them a better understanding of which plastics can be recycled through local authority collection services.
Alongside this, Nestlé Waters UK has been working in partnership with Recoup and Waste Buster to develop a recycling educational toolkit for primary and secondary schools in the UK. This has been launched successfully within local schools in Buxton.
Improving the recyclability of plastics
In 2015, we continued to work on collaborative projects to improve the recyclability of plastics. These include a project to explore the options for collecting flexible laminate packaging containing aluminium, so that the plastics can be recovered and converted into fuel, and the aluminium recycled.
As part of this project, we carried out a nine-month trial in 2015 to test the feasibility of including aluminium-based flexible laminate packaging in existing household recycling schemes. The trial used Enval’s pioneering aluminium recovery technology, and was funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The results of the trial will be released in 2016.
We are also collaborating with Innovate UK on a two-year research and development project to create a circular economy for flexible packaging. Due to complete by the end of 2016, the project aims to introduce new packaging designs which allow improved material recovery, along with marking and sorting techniques to make it easier to separate recyclable materials. Another planned outcome will be design guidelines for recyclability that are usable by all brand owners and retailers.
We will continue assessing the environmental impacts of packaging across its entire life cycle using our internal eco-design tools. We will also continue to engage in activities on communication and educational programs for consumers on recycling, as well as supporting innovative projects looking at new collection and recovery methods for packaging.
http://www.nestle.co.uk/csv2015/environmental-sustainability/packaging– accessed 1st July 2017
And for nice times, here are some old Smarties advert from the 80’s and 90’s- I wish I could go to Smarties place.
All websites and links accessed 1st July 2017.
Looking through the OCA workbook it says that ‘sustainability is about achieving a sense of balance and responsibility’- p186-Creative Arts Today.
To me when I think about defining the word sustainability I think of safety, keeping things in order, making sure that something isn’t overused, keeping enough back to be used by everyone that may need or use it. Supporting supplies of something to keep it going and to make sure it isn’t lost for the future or forever.
Photograph: Murdo Macleod-https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainability-performance-textiles-wool-environment– accessed 27th June 2017.
A dictionary.com definition of sustainability says;
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/sustainability?s=t -accessed 27th June 2017.
World sustainability- can the planet cope with the amount of resources being used each day? each year? can it survive the amount of people and their needs? are the planets resources enough to be able to sustain population- with these things comes- food, water, amenities, clothing. Do we use too much? at what cost is that to the population? Is general life affected? what about the expiration of certain things-minerals, crops, animals. Do they affect other things that have relied upon them in the past? Economically – money, banking, work, jobs- people spend and things get better, people don’t spend things get worse.
Social – Can an area sustain itself? can the people who live there live well? are their needs met? housing, schools, health- illnesses, medicines, care, after care-usage of services- pharmacies, doctors surgeries, hospitals. Leisure, social needs. Is each person aware of their footprint? Do you as an individual care for the sustainability of how you live? Is your lifestyle well thought? Are their food/lifestyle choices thought out- local shopping, local suppliers, organic, fair trade, vegetarian/niche- or cheap, supermarket, fast, basic?
Clothing- Do you know where your clothes were made? Do you pay extra to know they are well made? Do you recycle or donate old clothes? Do you buy cheap for a few weeks or a season and then throw away? Do you research companies? Do you buy secondhand only? Do you make your own clothes? Do you furnish things from old material-reusing and recycling?
Environment- Do you recycle? do you make it a priority? Is it important to you for future generations that things are reused? Do you send everything to landfill? are you bothered about landfill sites? chemical waste from factories, pollution- waste water, waste products. Where do they go? Ecosystems destroyed due to extra landfill, spoil from chemicals and industry waste. These things cannot be replaced so are lost due to lack of sustainability and thought for the future. Can these products be made into something else to help sustain the original environments they came from? Can they be made into energy?- wind farms, solar power, power stations converted to burn rubbish instead of putting into landfill? Are these sustainability practices of trying to help the environment making things worse by taking, using and making them in the first place?
How do I think sustainability might be addressed in relation to the production and consumption of textiles and other manufactured products?
Looking at the textiles life cycle I am beginning to see that this topic is huge and just by writing the lists above I can see that each action that is taken impacts on another and on another.
https://www.ifu.com/knowtheflow/2014/product-environmental-footprinting-harmonization-or-proliferation-of-standards/– accessed 27th June 2017.
Agriculture/raw fibre production- The starting point for most fabrics is the growing stage. Growing the same crop year after year can hurt the soil due to overuse and its productivity- using different ways to manufacture, have a year off to enable growing areas to recover, this then making the product better and kinder to the environment and more sustainable for the area around it.
The environment is obviously needed to help the crops grow-in this case I am talking about cotton- but what if it doesn’t rain? a dry area. Water from other sources will need to be used, this will need to be taken into account as how much of it will be used? What if the crop is bad? Is the same amount of water used to try and recover it? Is this water from a grid or is it recycled water from water butts, rainwater etc? Different kinds of fibres and materials need different amounts of water and if this grown crop is to be dyed then this process uses a lot of water- There is a whole document about safe practice with water and dyeing here-http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/GG062.pdf- accessed 27th June 2017.
Best practice in sustainability using Ginning isn’t really mentioned much but I found this from researching the life cycle in my previous post. I did a search and found this link to sustainable cotton production in Pakistan. It details best practice and environmental production and sustainability within the industry. Best I could find.
http://www.switch-asia.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/RPSC/event/5Aug16-Pakistan/TS2/SWITCH_Asia_Program_on_SCP__2__by_Ms._Roshan_Ara.pdf– accessed 27th June 2017.
Spinning and weaving
Sustainable practices regarding spinning and weaving- this piece talks about the environmental damages and impacts on fabrics and the drive towards more eco-friendly options-
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/1709/impact-of-textiles-and-clothing-industry-on-environment?page=1– accessed 27th June 2017.
Its amazing what you can find when researching things. Here is an environmental standards file from Marks and Spencer’s about their practices in chemical processing.
https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/file.axd?pointerID=3d913c2099fc4801bb07667a92276749– accessed 27th June 2017.
The dyeing of fabrics- I don’t know much about fabric dyeing except when I have done it myself in a bucket with powered packets and salt. I hadn’t really given it much thought as to the dangers or impact on the environment or how the dye was made beforehand. I just knew I had to wear gloves and dispose of it safely.
This link indicates all the different types of dyeing techniques and I am surprised at how many there are-
http://www.teonline.com/knowledge-centre/dyeing-fiber-to-apparel.html-accessed 27th June 2017.
There is a lot being said about natural dyeing techniques at the minute by using plants, flowers and old recipes from hundreds of years ago to dye wool and cotton with the environment in mind. These dyes use less chemicals as they are plant based and are only using natural ingredients found inside them, a bit like fruit sugars. The colours that are produced may not look as vibrant and neither are there many different colour options but still I think it is a nice way to colour fabrics and you can replant the ingredients you have used elsewhere ready for next time. I think it is more a niche market using natural dyes as with the colours being limited not everybody wants them.
https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Homemade-Natural-Dyes-31861660– accessed 27th June 2017.
I find the natural dyeing process really interesting and I found this piece about plant dyes and what colours you can achieve by using them.
http://www.countrysmallholding.com/how-to-s/lifestyle/plants-to-dye-for-1-3493360– accessed 27th June 2017.
The use of large scale factories comes to mind here and the implementation of better rights for workers putting clothes together is very important. Fair Trade is something that we hear a lot about and they make sure that clothing factories and the workers are looked after, giving breaks, better conditions, better pay and a better standard of living. This and working in partnership with other factories and owners helps to keep the sustainability aspect of the garment making running well and safe for everybody involved.
Maybe looking into local companies that can make clothes would be better in the long run with a full breakdown of where it was made, who by and this ensuring that they get recognised for it. Less of a carbon footprint for importing overseas but I understand that this isn’t always possible and the supply chain doesn’t work like that.
https://www.businessoffashion.com/community/voices/discussions/can-fashion-industry-become-sustainable– accessed 27th June 2017.
As with the stitching part, companies need to be more open about their manufacturing techniques and take into consideration the person and process rather than the mass truck loads of jeans. Delivering clothes by rail instead of road- sustainable- but for how long without all parts of the chain taken care of?
Make buyers aware that caring for your clothes means less waste, less pollution, longer life span and better outcome all round for the garment, the environment and the sustainability of the whole process. Education on the process rather than £2 pairs of knickers.
Who made my clothes?- http://fashionrevolution.org/-accessed 27th June 2017
Use/Consumption and end of life
Education as with distribution on what happens to old clothes that are thrown away and information on the whole process rather than just the one wear and then into the bin.
Make your own clothes, learn how to dye, knit, sew and recycle old fabrics. Buy in charity shops and give to charity shops rather than binning.
There is so much to learn and read about that I think I have over faced myself. Just these eight points mean so much to the overall picture and when you consider what you wear, where you shop and the clothes you have it is a massive subject to research.
Clothes waste- https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/feb/11/retailers-campaign-old-clothes-waste- accessed 27th June 2017
Valuing your clothes- http://www.wrap.org.uk/sustainable-textiles/valuing-our-clothes%20– accessed 27th June 2017