The focus of my work is fast fashion and its reliance on oil, which now accounts for 69% of all textile output. This is predicted to rise to 73% by 2030. Collaborating with a Material Scientist I undertook a form of reverse alchemy, enabling me to subsequently calculate how much oil is needed to make a synthetic garment. The UK wastes an average of 220 tons of textiles each year. Using this calculation, I was able to determine that it would require the equivalent of 20 oil tankers for its production.
This process has been captured in my film The Fabric of Oil. 5 minutes.
Using only discarded materials, I have visualised Kate Raworth’s economic Doughnut Theory, that clearly defines the ecological ceiling beneath which we must all live, in order for humanity to thrive. The overshooting of this edge is causing climate breakdown, whilst the shortfall of basic human needs is causing acute deprivation, migration and war.
Through collaboration with a Geologist I have created a living strata within a terrarium, with oil and its bi-products at its base. Flax is a regenerative, carbon absorbing plant, traditionally grown for its fibres to make linen. It has therefore becomes a symbol and an extremely viable alternative to the damage that oil is creating within our textile system and planet, representing the urgent change that is needed if we are to have a future.
I have also written a booklet Fast Fashion Statistics. For further details please contact me.