By Diane Small
Recently, Greenpeace released the results of a survey that reveals an average of 40% of the clothes every person owns are being worn seldom or simply not at all. This is a shocking fact with serious implications: it seems that while companies are working to reduce their carbon footprint, consumers are not taking the ‘buy better, buy less’ message on board at all.
Sure, we’ve all made our fashion mistakes, but with 30 day return policies and a proliferation of tailors and shoemakers, there’s really no reason that anything in your closet you see as ‘unfit for wear’ cannot be transformed into a new favourite piece. In addition, there’s been a huge rise in swapping and swishing events to help refresh your wardrobe – and of course, you could always donate unwanted items to charities.
One well-known second hand boutique in Stuttgart, Germany called PRAG A, makes a strong case for fashion recycling with its Resurrection shoot. Run by the children’s charity CARITAS, PRAG A wanted to create a fashion shoot that would illustrate the potential for ‘resurrecting’ what some may refer to as ‘dead’ clothing.
To help realise this vision, photographer Jochen Sand was brought on board. Inspired by paintings of resurrections by the Old Masters such as Cranach, Memeling and Tischbein, Sand added a bit of a halo effect to the models not only as a reference to classical religious paintings, but also as a cheeky tribute to the righteousness of purchasing pre-loved clothing. To stick with the theme of ‘new life,’ the shoot was done in the Pragfriedhof cemetery, which is both near the location of and inspiration for the name of the second hand boutique PRAG A, from which the clothes were sourced. The shop is as ethical as it is eco-friendly: as part of its commitment to social responsibility, it only employs women who have been previously chronically unemployed.
With some clever draping and recombining, it’s easy to see how old clothing can be reborn. Stylist Irmela Schwengler used only oversized articles to demonstrate that even if you feel something in your wardrobe ‘isn’t quite right,’ great styling can breathe new life back into it.
Model: Laura S. at Place Model Management, www.placemodels.com
Hair/MUA: Corine Spies, www.makeuphair.de
Styling: Irmela Schwengler
Photographer: Jochen Sand, www.sandworks.photo
Clothing and Accessories: PragA http://www.prag-a.de