Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow | Claudia Mauderer
Mass-produced fashion forms a significant part of the waste created by consumer culture, but young people are making great efforts to encourage their contemporaries to be more mindful about waste, by promoting recycling, upcycling and reusing. My work aims to capture the ideas around this. South African fashion designer and illustrator Lara Klawikowski created a collection of garments made from recycled, upcycled and reused pieces of plastic, as well as offcuts of industrial material, inspired by flowers I photographed in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
Plastic products contributed R76 billion to South Africa’s economy in 2016 and, according to a report by the industry body Plastics SA, up to 60,000 people work in plastics-related businesses. Fast fashion relies enormously on virgin plastic production; the report estimates 63 per cent of the materials used for clothing in 2015 was virgin plastic, while less than three per cent was recycled material.
The yesterday-today-and-tomorrow plant (Brunfelsia pauciflora) has lush, green foliage, accentuated with aromatic blossom that changes in colour. The flowers bloom through three colour-changing cycles over a three-day period. I chose to name my work after it, because yesterday cannot be changed, nor can the impact damage from plastic be reversed; today we aspire to be better; tomorrow we will make changes as we continue to educate and be mindful of waste.