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15 October 2019

The clothes we wear play a significant role in how we relate to the world. Clothes can express an identity and instil a sense of independence, confidence and dignity, and for some, lack of access to new clothes can impact self-esteem.

But Australia’s obsession with new clothes is also fuelling a mountain of textile waste, made up in part by items that have rarely, if ever, been worn.

UniSA masters’ students, in partnership with Anglicare SA and its Thread Together program, are tackling these issues as part of the ‘Clothing for Good’ project. The students have been exploring how clothing reuse can support environmental sustainability and human wellbeing and now their work is on display in a public exhibition at The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre.

The Thread Together program – based in Sydney but operated in South Australia by AnglicareSA – works in conjunction with clothing manufacturers to receive and sort new and end-of-line clothes, which through their purpose-fit mobile wardrobes are delivered directly to people in need.

First year Master of Visual Art and Design (Photography) at UniSA and project participant, Taylor Parham says it is a combination of coursework and real-world experience that benefits the community.

“We want to raise awareness about Thread Together and its services and at the same time shed light on the contemporary sustainability issues surrounding clothing,” he says.

“The exhibition is about the clothes Thread Together provide and the stories that are attached to the Anglicare clients.

“We are also hosting a fundraiser night on October 16 to help raise money for new vans and to expand Thread Together’s current operations.

“It’s great to do something that’s not just an assignment; we aren’t just taking photos for a mark, we’re also contributing to an important cause.”

UniSA’s Match Studio and the Master of Design program gave students the chance to work in two streams as part of the ‘Clothing for Good’ project — ‘Clothing stories’ and ‘Exhibition design’.

The first stream of work – ‘Clothing Stories’ — explores the value that people place on the clothing they receive from the AnglicareSA Thread Together service through a series of interviews with AnglicareSA’s clients. These stories have been developed into a series of digital prints that are displayed in the exhibition.

The second stream of work – ‘Exhibition design’ - involves generating ideas, concepts and final outcomes for the exhibition design, including the branding, exhibit text panels, the Clothing Stories digital prints and overall exhibition / installation design.

The exhibition runs from October 8-23, in the Kerry Packer Civic Centre and is presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, Match Studio, UniSA School of Art, Architecture and Design, the Master of Design program, and Anglicare SA.

The gallery will be open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

The gallery will also be open late on 16 October for the fundraising event, with all proceeds going to AnglicareSA Thread Together program.

Media contact: Jesse Neill office +61 8 8302 0961 mobile: +61 481 588 068
email: Jesse.Neill@unisa.edu.au

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