The Rag Trade


Painter felt from recycled fibers.



Photography: Aïcha Abbadi
Model: Florian

‘The Rag Trade’ carpet is a condensed form of the fashion cycle: from fiber to cloth to garments to shreds, at once becoming and already trampled underfoot. If the pace continues to speed up, what will be left to appreciate in the future? Today, as soon as something is produced, it is already obsolete. Overproduced luxury items are destroyed to avoid downpricing, while fast fashion is ‘recycled’, shredded to pieces. With ‘The Rag Trade’, I sought to express the personal disillusionment with the industry that I feel towards the end of my fashion design education.

We now live in a world of overproduction and overconsumption where it is easy to feel that all has been done already. When sales objectives dictate the designs, the results are predictable and nobody is excited anymore. The motives are barely concealed, the dream fades away and the clothes are just what they are: material put into shape. Garments lose their value for consumers and the industry itself. What is the point in producing more, only to sell more, in consuming for short-term gratification and entertainment? Why this extreme exploitation of human and environmental resources?

I believe that it is the duty of today’s graduates to question and reshape the workings of the industry. They should reposition fashion as a creative discipline, while being aware of the consequences of each individual decision. In today’s information age, fashion has lost its innocence and there are no more excuses for ignorance of its inherent failures.