The purpose of this project—bags handmade with pre-owned textiles and screen printed with abandoned paints to resemble the classic plastic bag—is not just to invoke a sense of nostalgia. These bags are re-imagined to remind us of our toxic relationship with plastic. Not limited to single-use items, our clothing is made from synthetic materials too—plastic is found in almost everything. Dominant methods of manufacturing and waste management maintain attitudes that these things are harmless and disposable. This throwaway lifestyle harms people and the planet, and contributes to the ongoing climate crisis.
From plastics to clothing, we’ve become accustomed to disposing of things without much consideration. Hyper-consumerism and the mass production of low quality, unsustainable goods contributes to waste culture. It’s led by various industries including fashion, which is at the forefront of impulsive shopping behaviours and overconsumption. We’ve normalized this carefree mentality where we don’t truly recognize the labour process and appreciate the craftsmanship of the things we buy. We’re unaware or we avoid confronting the dark reality of where, but also who the makers are throughout the supply chains, how it’s produced and what happens after we get rid of it.
Dedicated to working with unwanted items, these bags were thoughtfully made by Norwin Anne using discarded materials. The goal was to avoid new materials as much as possible and create something functional, but also conceptual. We deserve a system where everything and everyone has a purpose and value, so we have to end the stigma that surrounds what we view as trash. We need to promote practices focused on circularity by rethinking and redefining our perceptions of waste.
Please visit wearesavingthe.earth to learn more.