Here’s an interesting thought experiment: How many pieces of clothing does the average human being use over the course of their lifetime?
Well, social-impact designer Laura François and artist Von Wong did the math: It’s just about 3,000 pieces, per person, per lifetime. Isn’t that insane? On top of that, every second, the equivalent of one truckload of clothing goes to landfill around the world. Our clothing consumption has gotten way out of hand, and Laura and Wong have teamed up to help everyone visualize just how many clothes they’re either hoarding only to throw them away. As we normally discard clothing over time, as we either outgrow its size or its style, our closets are designed to only hold what we currently use; but what if you could see in a single instant what your entire lifetime’s worth of clothing might look like?
Enter: The Tallest Closet in the World.
Standing at three-stories high and weighing just about six tons, the recycled wood and aluminium structure houses over 3,000 secondhand clothing items collected by the students of Fayoum University, led by Professor Hosny. Arranged in size order from toddler to XXL, this giant steel wardrobe is far from any fashionista’s dreams; it’s really a reality check for every non-nudist out there, and is a message to us all to practice mindful consumption and only buy what we truly need.
The clothing donation box placed in the centre of the structure has also given the people of Cairo a chance to take part in extending the life of their preloved clothes. With over 220,000 refugees in Egypt, and need for this clothing is imminent, and the clothing used for the creation of the installation will be donated to local NGOs supporting refugees, along with the donations collected throughout its exhibition.
Said Laura of the inspiration behind the project: “The struggle I have with the clothing crisis globally is that it boils down to one thing no matter how many sustainable solutions people offer. We’re buying too much! First and foremost, we wanted to show how much one person is consuming over the lifetime. Not numbers but really showing what our purchasing habits look like. It’s one person’s footprint.”
You definitely don’t need to tell us twice- but in case you’re new around here, here’s the tea: Every #LittleGreenStep you take in your life adds up, big time. The easiest #LittleGreenStep you can take today would be to stop before you shop, and think about whether you really need what you’re buying. And then, if you’ve decided that you do, to buy from ethical and sustainable clothing companies that are doing their part for the earth.
If you don’t know where to start, here’s our Conscious Directory for all the best conscious brands to patronize in Asia. And it’s still not to late to make a conscious swap or two this Christmas season with all our guides to help you; You’ve definitely gotta check out our selection of Conscious Gifts under $50, how you can have a Zero Waste Christmas, a Vegan Christmas, Zero waste swaps for eco-friendlier presents, the Best conscious presents to get your family, How to dress both fashionably AND sustainably this holiday season or how you can have a Conversation about Climate Change and give Sustainable Corporate Gifts. We even have tips on Conscious Crafting. Figure out which GREEN SPICE you are yet and where you’ll be having a plant-based Christmas dinner this year!
If you’ll be in Egypt this Christmas, you’re invited to experience and take photographs of the installation at Mall of Arabia Phase 2- The Expansion, located between Gate 9 and the Atrium under the hashtag #TallestCloset. Individuals can go and visit the installation between the 14th of December and the 8th of January 2019, and donate their preloved clothing items. Please donate clean clothing in usable condition. For more information about the project, click here.