I was always thinking that my fascination with fabric scraps, fabrics and with waste in general has started in 2015, when I started to sew. That was until one day in May 2021…
While I was listening to Aleksandra Wiecka’s webinar about, I have almost ended up in tears. I thought I have already my story sorted, but it looked that my story has another meaning and it’s longer than I though. My fascination with fabric scraps, fabrics, old things has actually started in my childhood.
My mum used to be a professional seamstress. She stopped working while she got pregnant with me. She also was gathering fabric remnants from the factory she used to work in. All those pieces, she was keeping in a box in the attic. Can you guess who have found them? Of course that it was me! I was nicking some pieces sometimes to sew doll clothes. That’s what I remember… I was 10 years old at a time.
I can say now that I was always a ‘fabric scraps collector’. I have been gathering the small, leftover pieces of fabric since the beginning of my adventure with sewing. It just taken some time to understand that past connects with present and future for me.
When I started working in the fashion industry as a seamstress, I could finally see how much waste there is. I started collecting whatever I could at a time, and I’ve hidden it in every corner of my home. Then I started to work in a local company that makes face coverings… and I still did the same. I collected fabric scraps. I was totally in love with them! Their shapes, mostly created by a chance, seemed to be remarkably interesting. They reminded me of animals and other things. It was finally time to start to use them, so I started making art out of these previous pieces I gathered over years. I started to create sustainable art and I like it!
I focus on what I can do and change waste into unique art pieces!
I use waste materials from the clothing industry – textile, second-hand things and clothes. As I wrote earlier, while working in the sewing room I saw how many materials end up in the bin. I do not blame the sewing room, because I know the rules for cutting patterns. I do not blame all the clothing companies for the fact that they produce scraps (although they can do more to prevent wastage).
I cooperate with a local small business faceDFNDR that produces face coverings, with clothes designer Madgalena Szlkowska and JOJUZAL – Joanna, who makes the most beautiful upcycled bags in the world. They provide me with their production waste – simply speaking, I am their fabric scraps bin. What they cannot use in their business, I use in mine – their waste is my raw material. I close the loop. If I would not use them, they would end up in a bin, then into landfill and air… There are more opportunities for a future ‘waste cooperation’ lurking around the corner.
Talkin about the future, my dream is to keep as many fabric scraps, old clothes, or other unwanted items, from landing in the rubbish bin as long as possible. I want to organise workshops where you can clearly see that „waste is not a waste until we waste it” (Will.I.Am).
I would love to spread the love for scrap art and hope that we can all could give a new lease of life to things and look after our amazing planet.