What do we do with unwanted clothes?

Make a gorgeous bag! 

We are buying more low-cost, low-quality garments and disposing of more clothing than ever. Everywhere around the world, millions of tonnes of clothes go into landfills. In Australia alone, more than 500,000 tonnes of textiles and leather end up in landfill each year. Most of us donated our old clothes to organisations like the Salvation Army, but only a portion of those clothes end up being sold or given to people in need. Is there any way we could help divert some of that waste away from landfills? A new strategy to recycle and upcycle clothes are needed more than ever. We have to find a way to turn those clothes into new products. A new approach to see old clothes as resources, not waste.

“Raw Couture” is a project created by Public Personas studio. The project explores the potential use of unwanted clothes, objects and anything that could be used as material. This exhibition showcase what unwanted clothes could potentially become by adding design, texture and colour. Experiment how unwanted clothes can be used as raw material and made into something else.

Keiko Kimura has recently created 3 bags for an exhibition. Old clothes were cut into strips and woven into a piece of textile. Some of the materials woven were old clothes, ropes from a hardware store, videotapes, strips of a leather journal, and yarn from an old jumper. Other hardware such as buckles and chains from unused bags, wooden beads from abandoned jewellery project were also used in the making of the bag.

Public Personas studio
Artist Keiko Kimura is founder of the art and design studio Public Personas. She has channelled the artistry of her grandmother a maker of handbags, in a new era & culture. She is a designer and maker trained in product design and graphic arts. Her practice combines conceptual art and hands-on experiment with traditional and industrial techniques. She uses everyday material such as used clothes and hardware and applies DIY manufacturing techniques to create new wearable objects. To see more of what Keiko does, visit her Instagram account @pblcpersonas.

Keiko is a member of the Corban & Blair creative team.