This Earth Day, let us consider the humble scrap, its impact on our environment and potential for textile reuse and sustainability. Industrial scraps—remnants from yarn, textile, and clothing production—clog landfills in the United States and around the world, making the textile and apparel industries among the most polluting. How can we rethink the design and production process in order to recover waste materials before they impact the environment? Can textile waste become even higher value textile products?

The Cooper Hewitt exhibit, Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse, memorably explored these questions through the works of three designers; Christina Kim, founder of the LA-based design house dosa, Luisa Cevese, founder of Riedizioni, and Reiko Sudo, co-founder of Nuno, all of whom share a deep respect for the history and tradition of textile making while committing to design’s environmental, social, and economic responsibilities and using garment manufacturing waste to create more product. 

For Scraps, Christina Kim exhibited life of jamdani, tracked from initial fabric through multiple layers of use and creative reuse at dosa. The project arose in 2002, when Christina was invited by the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, India to work with artisans in the earthquake affected area of Kutch. During her travels, she was drawn to the color palette of jamdani, a traditional plain weave sari cloth from West Bengal, which is woven in a pit loom using a supplementary weft to create the designs. Since 2003, jamdani scraps from dosa clothing production have been saved and sorted, and repurposed for first and second generation clothing, textile panels, and amulets.

SHOP Cooper Hewitt is pleased to offer a selection of these precious and colorful jamdani amulets, each uniquely hand-sewn and embroidered, made from recycled fabric scraps from past dosa seasons. Each amulet contains a secret note of good luck and makes a perfect accessory for a favorite outfit, or gift for a special friend.

Dosa, which means “sage” in Korean, is named after Korean-born Kim’s mother’s nickname. For well over twenty years, Christina Kim has sought global artisans, unique fabrics, and design inspirations in places such as Mexico, India, Bosnia, Cambodia, Kenya, Japan, and Chile, where she has forged ongoing relationships with local craftspeople. As a result, she has succeeded in weaving together global communities of artisans who work in concert with the thirty or so craftspeople in her spacious Los Angeles studio to create usable, wearable, and sustainably produced clothing and household items.

Christina Kim is also the recipient of the 2018 National Design Award for Fashion Design.

Posted by J.B.

SHOP BLOG is written by the sales associates of SHOP Cooper Hewitt, bringing their singular design expertise into the digital realm.


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