Covers is an investigation of contemporary textiles.  What are the roles of textile producers and consumers today? How does this industry affect our society and the environment we live in? Focusing on the social and environmental impacts of textiles, Covers transforms statistics into visual representations. It uses pattern to quantify and visualize information. The viewer is invited to approach a roll of fabric of their choice and cut off a piece. For a brief moment, this action transforms them from a textile consumer into a textile producer. It asks them to stop and question the relationship they have to the fabrics with which their lives are so intimately shared. 

Materials: Hemp/Oragnic Cotton with Water Based Inks

Process: Screen Printed by Hand

Size: 30" Wide x 25 Meters Long per Roll

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Plain Weave

For every person born in 2011, 585 garments were produced. 1 out of every 585 rectangular units on this roll are navy, representing the birth–to–garment ratio.  

This print expresses the scale of the textile industry. It recognizes that the broad range of negative social and environmental issues surrounding textiles are amplified by the scale of production and consumption. The pattern representing is one of the earliest structures used in textile production, the plain weave. By magnifying this structure, we are reminded of and connected to the roots of our textiles. 

 

The Grid

Each squared inch of this fabric is made from a hemp/organic cotton blend that required 0.5L of water to produce. Regular cotton uses even more water, requiring 1.3L per inch squared. 

Any time something is created, there is an impact on the surrounding environment. These impacts occur during production, consumption and disposal. The materials required to produce our clothes must be grown or extracted, processed from raw materials into yarn, woven into fabrics, dyed with colour and sewn into garments. These processes require inputs of water, energy and labour, some pollute waterways, some travel between many countries and eventually they all get disposed of. Using a simple grid, this fabric is a display of water consumption as well as a lens into the environmental costs of textiles. 

Red Blood Cells

The average garment worker in China makes 9.2 % of the minimum wage in Ontario. The contrasting black and white cells in this pattern visualize this imbalance. 

Social justice is one of the major issues within the textile industry. Sweat shops and garment factory collapses gain media attention, yet shopping habits have not changed. How do we justify the value of our lives over the lives of those who put the clothing on our backs? What makes “us” different from “them”? Red blood cells are pumped through our bodies, providing us with the oxygen essential to live. No human can survive without them. Regardless of our race, gender or nationality, these cells are something we have in common. In this print, red blood cells are used as a link between me and you, between “us” and “them”.