In Taiwan, A Designer Is Making Clothes Out Of Garbage. We Love Everything About This
Recycling old and wasteful materials into innovative creations is something we learn as kids in school without even realising how this ‘craft’ could make a huge impact in the world one day. What is restricted to turning old wires and plastic remains into artefacts back then has now significantly extended to bigger platforms like fashion. Several designers and brands have taken upon themselves to change the face of one of the largest polluting industries and make fashion more sustainable. Taiwanese designer Wang Li-ling is one of those forerunners who are bringing about a significant change by designing her collection out of garbage and making sustainable clothes.
In her recent runway show, the 36-year-old material designer showcased her futuristic fashion collection that she created out of metal wires, bolts, coiled springs and other waste materials from the Taiwan main electricity supplier. The clothes feature ultra-modern dresses made out of discarded materials from the power industry of Taiwan, something you could never think of wearing, unless you need a social distancing outfit to cope with the people in the pandemic. The poking wires and bolts gives the clothes space-age aesthetics and a futuristic feel. However, Li-ling makes them look truly fashionable and makes a strong case for Trashion—fashion created out of repurposed elements.
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Talking about the peculiar materials she picked for the collection, Wang told Reuters, “For example, there’s quite a lot of material from Taipower that they have phased out,” These materials have been used for more than 20 or 30 years. At least more than 10 years. So their colour or the mottled feeling they give you is different from new material.” The fashion show was held in Taipei on last Friday and was attended by biggest fashion influencers of the country like Andrew Chen who said, “Actually, it is my first time seeing a Taiwan fashion designer turning recycled things into new ideas. Everyone knows the fashion industry is about fast fashion. And it is wasteful. It expanded my horizons today that I saw how to use old materials to create something new, and then present it with creativity.”
There has been a massive demand for sustainable brands lately and it is evident that the need of making fashion more environment-friendly has amplified manifold this year around the globe with consumers exploring eco-friendly options, buying consciously and from sustainable brands. However, ultimately, the responsibility to making fashion fair and ethical lies on the shoulders of the fashion designers who can make a change by channeling their creative genius for the environment and using the recycled materials and elements in their clothes. There are some who are leading the charge and transforming toxic and unwanted materials into aesthetic and wearable fashion but we definitely need more people upcycling waste to ensure a sustainable future.
Since consumers are now also conscious and aware of the pollution and the amount of waste textile industry creates, they are investing in repurposed and recycled fashion. Preloved clothes and rental fashion are two trends that emerged this year during the pandemic and a number of sustainable clothing brands also sprouted up to accommodate the needs of the modern consumers. We want this to stick around post Covid era too, and more fashion designers like Li-ling who tackle waste and garbage in the most creative and innovative way—by turning them into high fashion.