STREETWARE challenges fast-fashion by transforming discarded textiles into prêt-à-porter and creates “Social Sculpture”
“Ragpickers used to go from village to village, from urban street to street or alley, asking if anyone had something that they wanted to discard. He then purchased and collected textiles and other bits of fabric.”
As the creative minds and practitioners behind STREETWARE, we are rejuvenating this tradition and philosophising on the literal scrapheap, delving into the aesthetic dimensions of human existence.
This approach goes beyond textiles, beyond fabric, to consider modes of thinking and kinds of behaviour. Can white and black things be washed together?
Is discarded clothing a metaphor for a society that peels itself out of its skin in search of alternative economic and moral systems? Current challenges to humanity – environmental protection, the pandemic, immigration and discussions about the repercussions of colonialism, to name but a few – negate our notions of what can be taken for granted. We are then confronted, each and every one of us, with our own frailties.
Part and parcel of STREETWARE’s ethical concept of creating sustainable norms is the de-colonialisation of everyday life through visible diversity
As ragpickers, we see material found on the streets as an invitation to think about issues of identity, of how we consume; deliberating modes of production, how we define society and while gaining inspiration from the multitude of forms that up- and re-cycling can take. We investigate how material from the street can be reused and re-evaluated to try to meet community needs.
For people without a permanent home, those who are forced to flee from their homes in desperate situations.
We are active on an inter-generational level, considering issues ranging from deprivation to plentitude in our project.
STREETWARE functions both as a manufacturer and a source for ideas, a venue and place of exploration, a workshop and facilitator of communication. This activity brings people to an avant-garde laundrette which is inclusive while also being extravagant:
STREETWARE collects a wide range of resources to create a truly democratic space.
Since January 2021, STREETWARE has invited a variety of people from various segments of society to take an active part in this endeavour and participate in the production process. We aim to co-operate with local people who pass the word on, recycling companies, the textile industry, places that offer clothing to those who can’t afford it, sociologists, philosophers and artists.
We contact neighbours and contemplate, together how we can support homeless people. We conduct research and work where art, politics and society interact. We also co-operate with individuals and organisations on the island of Lesbos.
We work with organisations delving into a number of issues including techniques and methods of production and provide:
- Textile architecture - The boundaries between the public and private realms no longer consist of exclusively of solid walls but can be a mattress on the pavement that forces passers-by to change their course. The day after, one can see remnants of what had been there. Together with homeless people, we will confront these often overlooked circumstances.
- Grand-scale laundry – A series of events with various focal points: we’ll wash laundry together in public water fountains or mobile bathtubs. Various techniques for working with textiles will be examined and tried out; before and after comparisons can then be made / Experts will explain a gamut of aspects of fashion/ sustainability / methods of production //
- Guided tours – As ragpickers, we walk through Berlin with laundry racks collecting textiles // We invite you join us!!
Hopefully, this will be a communicative occasion for activities like picnics, poetry, readings, choir & washboard concerts //
Here we proudly present our favourite pieces of the rag collection:
- Identity Exchange – how do we feel when we wear clothing that came from the street?
- A series of Corona-compatible workshops/ performances will explore this idea.
- We are planning a ragheap congressin July!
If you’d like to participate or even give a presentation or lecture as an artist, craftsperson or someone who has given this issue a lot of thought, please do contact us at:
- Material serves as the starting point for creating something newwhether it is fashion, a woven object, a stitched installation - anything is possible!
We always welcome new contacts and collaborations, and invite you to get in touch with us!
barbara caveng is an interdisciplinary working visual artist with a focus on three-dimensional artistic practice, participatory art, interventions and performances.
Alice Fassina is a costume designer, whose artistic approach and work methods are based on sustainability and circular economy. She imparts her knowledge about alternative ways to fast fashion also as a guide for Green Fashion Tours.
Jan Markowsky was an engineer in the GDR, in East and West Berlin. Contact with opponents through dissidents in Jena after imprisonment of his brother Bernd who was detained related to Wolf Biermann's expatriation deported to West Berlin in 1984. Various jobs as energy consultant and engineer for building services. Left the office in January 2000 after a dispute with his boss, then left his apartment.
As a flexible and open-minded person, coped well overall with life without an apartment. Have had time to participate in preparing meals for the homeless, play theater, give lectures, participate in political committees. After a few years, regularly contributed to the social street magazine 'Strassenfeger' and later participated in 'Strassenfeger-radio'. During that time often photographed and interviewed.
Credo: I have nothing to hide, I can show myself!
Lotti Seebeck is an artist with a special interest in crossdisciplinary collaboration and performative research. Their work circles around the fusion of art and knowledge and its public/private/collective entanglement. They studied cultural sciences in Hildesheim and London and performance+media and Art in Context at UDK Berlin currently.
Lukas Treiber is philosopher, freelance curator and art theorician. In the tradition of Critical Theory he thinks about the influences of NEGATIVITÄT on the process of perception and cognition of individuals. His main interest is to trace the absent in the present, to bring the seemingly invisible in people and things into the focus of observation/experience. In his planned dissertation project, he would like to investigate the extent to which a "language" of art can contribute to make the invisible more visible.
"STREETWARE is an interesting example of the effect of a language of art: through the transmission of discarded textiles into the context of art, things that have also lost their primacy in perception through the devaluing process of sorting out, become visible again. In a new context, the objects, whose history, diversity, potentiality and contingency have been lost in "everyday" use, are rehabilitated in the staging. This creates a space for new experiences and attribution of meaning. At the same time, a space for reflection opens up for the examination of identity, mentality, social practice and society. The artwork speaks to us."“
Ana Ana says, that "the clothing we wear doesn't define who we are or what we're capable of – but it can influence how we feel when it comes to selfconfidence. It is true because i like to dress according with my mood. Mainly i choose mens clothes 'cause they have a diverse choice that is up to my tastes more than woman’s. I chose this jacket because it shows me . I drow my mind on it . It’s expressing the little kid inside me who experience the beauty of life.
Purvi Dhrangadhariya graduated with MA. Sustainability in Fashion and Creative Industrie. She has always been keen on Handicrafts, Textiles & Diverse Garments and the story they carry through generations. 'A beautiful handcrafted and decorated piece of the garment made with someone's hard work and love that once made your Mother or Grandmother felt confident and classy often ends up on the streets and now are slowly replaced by cheap clothes led by fast fashion that does fit the trend but not the legacy of Sustainability, Self-identity, or Love for Garments.'
My exploration lies in the apparel that represents someone's creativity and individuality adapting to this fast-moving world.
Athena Lewis joined as a volunteer. She completed her BFA in dance at Simon Fraser University and is currently working as a performance artist and educator. Her kinesthetic practice encompasses themes of playful aggression in conversation with the sinister state of our current socio-economic environment. Particularly she finds interest in Western society’s tendencies towards overconsumption and waste – and its impacts on the hierarchal structures that shape our world.
With an academic background in Cultural Studies and Urban Studies, Dr. Lina Tegtmeyer completed her PhD with a study on the changing semantics in visual representations of urban decay in the context of urban crises and tourism in the US. The interdisciplinary approach is critical towards „new urban tourism“ as alleged remedy for socio-financial shortcomings of the modern democratic nation state.
Currently, Dr. Tegtmeyer uses drawing as research method to explore the constraints and limits of scientific thinking and Enlightenment ideals within. As freelance researcher, Dr. Tegtmeyer brings this method of drawing research to streetware saved item in form of ethnographic drawing to A) accompany the processes of the project itself and B) locate the new phenomenon of excessed dumped clothes in urban space in Neukölln within the context of Urban Studies.
Aïcha Abbadi explores niche fashion practices and alternative ways of making and being in fashion.
Exploring its boundaries, she reflects on the discipline itself: its narrative potential and poetry, the industry's complex social relations, its ethical and environmental shortcomings as well as its optimism, dedication and potential solutions.
I'm fascinated by the everyday situations, I observe my surroundings in search of inspiration and experimentation.
Special STREETshopping tour guide
Stella Cristofolinicultural scientist & artist, works at the intersection of theory/research and social practice & is interested in found objects, everyday objects, observing the city from different perspectives and practices of recycling in different social systems.
Those who have accompanied us
Mareen Butter looks at the issues of recycling and sustainability from a sociological perspective. She scientifically concentrates on power relations in North-South partnerships and works as a journalist, with a focus on Brazil.
Mareen developed 'STREETWARE saved item' within our team from January until April 21.
Hatim Alyafi is a studied Business Administrator and Is a Streetartlover. Sustainability.
Life & goods cycle he learned and used in behalf of berlin water works there to discover that money makes the world go round, so he controlled the cash flow well and then turned around and founded NeissCaps.com in editions we grow in artists we invest to get you nicely dressed since he purely wants to express his experiences to let you know how Textil consume can shrink and unity consciousness will grow.
Hatim Alyafi participated between May and July 21 in the implementation of 'Die Dressserie' at Gallery Walden and 'En Plein Air', installation and intervention in the frame of the art festival '48hours Neukölln'.
Franceska Welp develops concepts of artistic research into socio-cultural issues - especially in the thematic area of sustainability - and the question of identity. Her practice is community-oriented and aims to initiate communicative processes through participatory projects.
Creating spaces of possibility for reflection on one's own perception, identification and positioning, identity in relation to space and time; the re-exploration of one's own environment are the subject of her work.
Francesca accompanied some of our events as 'carneval for future' and 'Take back the night', a feministic-queer happening and demonstration.
Andreas Herbst joined as a volunteer. His interest is in second-hand clothing. He aims to understand its impact both globally and locally and to shed light on it in a critical and artistic way.
Andreas is studying ethnography, focusing on the urban environment. This leads to questions about how and who is excluded from social spaces and what this means for space and people.
Andreas was at our side from February until June 21