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 black things be washed white?
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 //
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.
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.
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.
I'm fascinated by the everyday situations, I observe my surroundings in search of inspiration and experimentation.
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.
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!
Andreas Herbst joins 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.
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.