The latest statistics show that Australia ranks number two in the world for textile disposal and the average Australian buys about 27kg of textiles per head per year and, amazingly, disposes of about 23kg per person per year. Not all of this goes straight into landfill. People generously donate clothes to their favourite charities, who endeavour to sell them, or it is collected by commercial collection companies and the poor-quality product is exported and ends up in landfill either here or offshore.
The site is in the old Newtown Tram Depot, a forgotten site, covered in weeds and graffiti Newtown Sydney inner west. Newtown is a vibrant mix of wonderful people. Its working-class roots meant cheap rents in the 1980s, and an influx of students and artists saw the emergence of a thriving music and fashion scene that remains today. Now a little more gentrified and well-heeled, Newtown is still home to alternative style from punk, urban and girly chic to manicured grunge and rockabilly cool.
The term textile circularity is related to a “circular economy”: instead of constantly making and ditching stuff, we find ways to continually use it, even if it is radically transformed along the way, so it doesn’t end up as waste. As the concept implies, whoever brings this “stuff” into the world also shoulders the burden of shepherding it, down the track, away from the waste heap. Textile circularity would see companies and governments, at all levels, share responsibility with the consumer for ensuring that there is a safe, affordable and convenient way for textiles to be returned to the industry when they’ve worn out or you no longer want them.
The aim of this project is to demystify the whole recycling process. A consumer should understand the intrinsic value of the clothes that they have and how much more they can do with them. The Circular fashion House goal is to be educational by showing the promise of what is from the past can be extended to the future. User can touch the raw materials of their donated clothes, see and feel and touch the upcycled materials. It’s a creates a visceral experience for the user when they enter the building.