Ailish Whooley (She/Her)
MSA Stage 4 Diploma Portfolio Prize
Urban Textile Institute
Textiles played a crucial role in the development of the Calton area, from a small weaver town outside of Glasgow to the centre of the city’s industrial textile trade. However, developments in textile manufacturing have led to a situation where ‘fast fashion’- a system of rapid production that created low-cost clothes which are increasingly treated as disposable- is the norm. The fashion industry accounts for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, and many garments are produced in unsafe and underpaid working conditions.
This project aims to encourage ethical consumption while providing training and opportunities for local people, redefining what we think of as ‘production’. As we move away from fast fashion, public spaces for the repair and reuse of clothing become critical as a reaction to the climate crisis. The process of collectively making and repairing is a social event through which community relationships develop through acts of public domesticity.
This project draws on the historical institution of the public washhouse. As a progressive institution established to improve the lives of the inner-city working class, the washhouse played an important social function. However, technological advancements in the 20th century meant that each household could have laundry facilities in their home, leading to the decline of the washhouse as a civic and social institution. By examining the cultural significance of the laundry, this project proposes a new civic institution for the repair and reuse of clothes.