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Aira Mae Ogaco
Chloe McGann
Clíodhna Ni Ghabhann

Responsible Consumption and Production

Our shared experiences of Lockdown became our starting point for this year’s Changelab Exhibition. In a moment in time where we were at our most distant from our classmates, we realised how important human connection is in supporting us through these uncertain and challenging times.

Through the sustainable development lense, we started looking at our common interest in sustainability, recycling and consumption.

Inspired by SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), we began looking at human behaviour patterns around fast fashion which led us to discover the lack of human rights amongst garment workers in Third World countries.

As a group we looked closer to home, researching and analyzing Ireland’s position in the global contribution of textile waste. We discovered concerning trends when it came to Irish textile waste and consumption. A paragon of sustainability, the charity shop, has become our focus, exploring how we as a nation can donate our textile waste in a considerate and sustainable way.

Through the use of typography, embroidery and textile manipulation, our work highlights the issues that charity shop volunteers face each day. This is represented as a triptych of white shirts that highlight the three aspects of how clothes are donated; the memories that have embedded themselves into the fabric as glimpses of faces and our ties to them, the way in which we allow volunteers to handle our donated textile waste which all too often is unfit for purpose and especially more fraught with the risk of COVID-19, and finally, the stories and experiences of the volunteers on the front line of charity donations dealing with our textile refuse.

With this artwork we hope to create awareness and consideration around charity shop volunteers and the greater worldwide issue of reusing and recycling textiles.