V&A Dundee

Sewing Box for the Future

  • Dates

  • Upper Foyer

  • Free

There is a crisis of waste in the fashion industry, but what can we, as individuals, do about it?

Across the UK, approximately 30-40% of clothing in our existing wardrobe is unused – this equates to £1K per household or £30 billion nationally. The consumption and use of clothing are at odds. Each time we invest in a new garment, we are making another obsolete. As a result, £140 million worth of clothing (350,000 tones) is landfilled in the UK each year.

So, what can we do to help? One practical option is to devote more time and care to looking after what we already have.

By focusing on three areas: care, repair and customisation, Sewing Box for the Future illustrates that by making small changes, we can make a big difference – we have the power to effect change.

It shows pioneering projects that are already re-thinking how clothes might be designed, used and cared for in the future, including work from Filippa K, Celia Pym and Chloe Patience.

The exhibition invites you to join in by learning some new skills to help proactively solve the problem. Hemming trousers or darning a sock might seem time consuming or overwhelming at first, but with a needle and thread and a few guiding principles, it is possible to love fashion and update your wardrobe in a sustainable, responsible way.

A Sewing Box for the Future kit is available to take home so you can care, repair and customise at your leisure. Try darning a sock and sewing on a button with what’s inside, and find lots more

Sewing Box for the Future is curated by Dr Jen Ballie of the University of Dundee and V&A Dundee, exploring her research into fashion and the circular economy.

Part of our Fashion 2020 season ✂️