Reincarnation of Fashion Waste: Wearable Bacterial Art

Why not transform second-hand clothes into wearable art which carry colonies of bacterias?

YAML [edit]


Fashion industry is one of the main polluting industries on Earth. Every year, 20-50 new collections are produced and un-sold items end up in a landfill, are burned or end up in a second-hand clothes market. Clothes nowadays are made of synthesic materials like polyester that don't decomposte fast and stay on Earth for 500+ years.

Bacterias have a bad reputation in human world, they are seen as causes of disease. But what about the good qualities of bacterias, like keeping our human bodies and inside bodies healthy? How to spark people's curiosity about bacterias and encourage to see them as living organisms that have the right to exist and not to be fought against?

My Problems: Environmental Anxiety

I have a lot of things left from my grandmother, all mixed up. Often, I feel "guilt" when thinking how I'm going to need to sort all the stuff, from which many things are "waste". So I feel a need for a "transformation towards waste".

I spend a lot of time on my computer and phone. But I get into a different kind of state, flow state, when I'm not using devices. Since childhood, I loved playing with outfits - my grandmother and mom used to fix and remake them for me. I feel a joyful self-expression moment when dressing up, for fun. But buying new things make me feel "guilt" again. I feel a need to do something interesting with my hands.

On the street it's quite boring to see people wearing same looks, same shapes, nothing like "haute couture" or new shapes by futuristic designers IrisVanHerpen or Neri Oxman . I'm curious about the idea of future tribes and how in moder world, we, humans can make friends with strangers because we feel attracted to symbols, shapes, patterns, style of what we wear.

Solution: Second-Hand Clothes Become Wearable Art

A new art form where second-hand clothes are transformed for a new life and made into wearable art. People who practise this form of craft are called W.BARTIES, and the craft itself is called W.BART (like, wearable bacterial art).

  • Art as a trace for the future: made from a durable material that stays on Earth for 500+ years (polyester)

  • Art expresses the patterns and shapes of the future tribes

  • Recycling materials and feelings: Transforming a feeling about second-hand clothes from "waste" to "beauty"

  • Reincarnation of waste: Each art piece has a spiritual meaning because of bacterial research involved in the process

  • Wearable Art: Bringing art from galleries to the street

  • Hand-Making popular again: Encouraging people to use hands, not only minds, to create

  • Promoting STEAM: Art making includes research of bacteria types of each garmet used in the art piece

  • Social norms shift: Giving "bacterias a voice" through artistic provocation "Would you wear bacterias?"

I imagine that each wearable art piece would be made this way:

Ingredients for making:

Canvas - a garmet whether it's jeans, jacket, dress, shoes, assessory, etc - is like a living system or a micro world where life takes place

Citizens of this system - parts from other clothes, like a zip, trouser leg, cuff, shoe tongue, etc - each with a different kind of bacteria (?) which will be discovered in the process of making the piece


  • Second-hand clothes

  • Microscope

I imagine researching this further and trying it out. Research group is open to join!

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I have the materials!

RE canvas choice: I realised that when a garment is made of polyester, it doesn't work in summer when it's hot or winter when it's cold, so the finished piece has to be for autumn or spring. I chosen jackets for experimentation.

Here's a link to my open project.

    : Inyuki
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    :  -- 


My next step is to experiment. So I'm in the step of searching materials (second-hand clothes). I realised that:

  • Canvas is the most important in each art piece making. This core item has to be good quality to reflect the idea of wearable art for the future, so it has to be "wearable" and durable in quality. Also an item has to have plenty of space for making (like a blank sheet of paper), one colour is best.

  • Each finished art piece would need to communicate the message that each reincarnated bunch of clothes is a system. Here, I have a question: What are the essential patterns of systems? These patterns would be expressed in each art piece. E.g. Metabolism, Whole is More than Parts (contrast as a feature of each art piece). Based on how this question is answered, ideas will appear and help me to select second-hand clothes for making the elements that will inhabit the canvas.

  • In general, systemic thinking and systems education will be embeded into this practice of wearable bacterial art. Everyone who is a W.BARTIE, will need to collaborate with a local organisation who has microscopes, and this way to embody the idea of systems thinking (science-art partnerships in this case) where an interaction between different elements produce the whole that's more than its parts.

  • Wearable Bacterial Art is a cleansing ritualistic art form where the process is often more importan than the final result. As an art practice it is used to transform fashion waste and emotional waste into value.

to be continued...

Interesting - I was thinking about Wearable Art before I got to know from a friend Serena that there is a World of Wearable Art competition! Seems like a cool community to connect. :)

Here's my Pinterest with inspirations

    :  -- 
    : Inyuki
    :  -- 

Ruta, 💤