the Story of the T-shirt

Scenario of the Story of the T-shirt

When designing the concept of the exhibitions at the locations in all three countries, we have focused on raising awareness about sustainability related issues among the general public/audience of the created artworks. The main goal has been to present the topic of sustainability and re-use of materials, in relation to artistic creation and to bring on board the theme of sustainability in clothing. The idea is to address the general public and also the artistic community with the theme of sustainability and to make them think about the issue in a way they can contribute to reducing the impact on the environment by making conscious choices and changes in their behaviour.

Bringing new quality of the open urban space – linking contemporary visual language in the public space and raising awareness on climate change consequences in each location Young talents from all participating countries met in Hackathon in Prague in April 2023. Eight international mixed teams (2 artists and 2 other specialists including), created artwork proposals for 3 European locations: Venice (Italy), Ústí nad Orlicí (Czechia) and Kópavogur (Iceland). At the end three winning proposals have been selected by the International Multidisciplinary panel to be realized and installed on site.
RE - USE Projekt

 Do you know that…?

Textile consumption in the EU caused on average the third highest pressures on water and land use and the fifth highest use of raw materials and greenhouse gas emissions. „The textile sector was the third largest source of water degradation and land use in 2020. In that year, it took on average 9m3 of water, 400 m2 of land and 391 kg of raw materials (and caused a carbon footprint of about 270 kg) provide clothes and shoes for each EU citizen. “  See the link about  available relevant sources and recent documents published on this issue

RE - USE Projekt

Story of the T-shirt – its history and journey.
How did it begin?

Industrial Revolution from the 18th century onwards represented a turning point for textile production and the sale of fabrics, clothing and textile products. It gradually displaced the previously dominant natural materials such as wool, cotton, linen, hemp or silk and brought about incomparably greater labour efficiency and the production of cheap textiles. Throughout the 20th century, we see the parallel development of haute couture and street style, or fast fashion - inexpensive clothing for everyday wear for the masses of population. 

Within this context of industrial mass production, the story of the T-shirt - one of the most popular items of clothing today - begins to be written during the 19th century. Initially part of the underwear, the T-shirt began to be manufactured around 1900 and finally gained its place as part of the US Navy's  clothing from 1913. Its popularity in the 50s and 60s was magnified by its appearance on the movie star-rebels of the time (such as Marlon Brando, Jemas Dea etc.), spreading the pop-culture fashion for the young in the combination of jeans and white T-shirt.
RE - USE Projekt

  T-shirt journey – what is behind the T-shirt production?

  In the 21st century, with increasing consumption and the globalization of consumer society, there is a paradigm shift and visible negative consequences of the strong pressure for constant growth and consumption. Firstly, there has been a decoupling of the big clothing brands from the production of their products - they no longer deliver only the design, the brand, the image of the product. The production itself is usually done on the other side of the world, moving mainly to Asia with cheap labour and undignified working conditions (China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, etc.). The dominance of disposable synthetics (such as nylon, polyester, acrylic, spandex, etc.), cheap fabrics made from fossil fuels, puts a disproportionate strain on the natural environment and is unsustainable in the long term. 
It has now been clearly demonstrated that up to 80% of the world's textile production is not recycled and ends up in landfills, incinerators or as microplastics in nature. The iconic T-shirt, globally popular, under the influence of advertising and rising consumerism, is one of the decisive moments in this process. Over the decades, the T-shirt has yet brought a multitude of ways of decoration - from text to pictorial decoration with lots of synthetic colours, putting even more strain on our environment.
RE - USE Projekt

 What about new technologies, respect to the environment and responsible choices?

 Nowadays, we are able to bring other models of textile production and other stories of T-shirt. It is based on developing new business models for clothing rental, eco-designing textile products ; to make re-use and recycling easier (circular fashion economy); to buy clothes of better quality that last longer (slow fashion) and generally to make companies more responsible for this process and develop new sustainable materials, which can changing face of fashion world (Cyrculose, NuCycl, carbon negative materials, bio-based alternatives to synthetics etc.). The impact of textile production (overconsumption) and waste on the environment is really alarming...
RE - USE Projekt

 Did you know these following warning facts about today textile production?

 - the fashion industry is estimated to be responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions – more than  international flights and maritime shipping combinated 

- the textile sector is responsible for about 20% of water pollution; to make a single cotton T-shirt 2.700 litres of fresh water are required (enough drinking water for one person for 2,5 years) 

- the average carbon footprint of a one T-shirt is 7 kg CO2 equivalent (kgCO2e) 

- single laundry load of polyester clothes can discharge 700.000 microplastic fibres than can end up in the food chain 

- only 1% of used clothes are recycled into the new clothes
RE - USE Projekt

 RE - USE is simply style of life and changing behavior (not changing clothes)

 After all, the green line, environmental protection and recycling are among the EU's priorities for these decades. Our RE-USE project should also bring about a change in the perception and behaviour of society and a greater degree of responsibility, especially among the young generation of intellectuals (hence the combination of artists and humanities disciplines), for the present and future state of our society and the environment...