Temasek Shophouse and Post-Museum have partnered up to bring awareness to the growing issue of fashion waste with the second edition of the Renew Earth Sweat Shop. In this second edition, the organisers want to tackle Singapore’s enormous problem of fashion waste, with over 131,000 tonnes of waste produced in 2020, through upcycling. Their hope is to galvanise a community to confront the issue of fashion waste by creating micro-community spaces for people to gather to learn, to sew and upcycle together. They quickly amassed over 200kg of fashion waste from swap shops, thrift stores, and green movements, to put towards a different and meaningful purpose.
Renew Earth Sweat Shop is a community and participatory art project reacting to the environmental impact and labour conditions linked to the global fashion industry. In its first edition in 2020, over 100 participants came together, to sew, to learn and to contemplate the ripples our everyday actions have had on a planet that is becoming increasingly fragile. This is the second time organisers Post-Museum and visual artist Veronyka Lau have gathered a community under the Renew Earth Sweat Shop banner in COVID-19 conditions.
Industry market trends put “trashion” or “refashion” as the trend to watch in the next few years. However, can this aesthetic capture a local audience? The participants of the Renew Earth Sweat Shop take up the challenge to find out. They begin experimentation with fashion deconstruction of discarded items into new designs.
The 4-month programme started with the Ideation Workshops in May that was conducted online due to COVID-19 restrictions. More than 80 people gathered virtually and in small groups to bring new ideas for their individual, community, and potentially commercially viable upcycling projects towards a pop-up showcase at the Temasek Shophouse from 30th August to 30th September.
In order to elevate upcycling and fashion repair to be commercially viable, it requires different tools, sometimes industrial ones. In this edition of Renew Earth Sweat Shop, the organisers partnered with technology providers LionsForge and Touch and Print to give participants more room to learn and more tools in hand to realise their ideas. Besides the sewing machine, participants are given access to the laser cutter and heat transfer printing.
In line with their belief that change happens when people feel empowered to do their part, the project aims to empower the community, building momentum and collectively creating an impact on the fashion waste issue, especially with its showcase of creations and repairs from professional designers, artists, crafters to participants who have not done it before. Professional designer Adel who created the sustainable brand, Muta Wear, will present new pieces for the showcase. Also in the showcase are the 18-year-old duo, Jasmine and Carolyn, who learned garment making from the program and are displaying their creations for the first time.
The Renew Earth Sweat Shop will be presenting the works of the participants at the Temasek Shophouse from 30th August to 30th September. Industrial Repair workshops will be conducted from 12pm to 2pm and 2.30 – 4.30 pm on 11th, 12th September, 25th, 26th September. Daily Collective Patchwork sessions are also available. These workshops are free and open to the public by RSVP only. Visitors to the showcase can try their hand at weaving, using an industrial sewing machine, or participate in the community sorting house. Some of the items may also be for sale. Find out more at https://post-museum.org/root/ or www.temasekshophouse.org.sg