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Posted On: 22 December 2020 10:30 am
Updated On: 22 December 2020 09:37 am

UNWASTED: 8 reasons to check out this unique exhibition tackling textile waste problem

Darlene
Darlene
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Do you love shopping for new clothes? How much clothing have you bought in the last year? Did you know that to produce one pair of jeans, 7,000 liters of water is needed? That's also the amount of water an average person drinks over six years. The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year, according to the documentary True Cost. If the average lifespan of a garment is less than 3 years, then just imagine how much textile waste we would have in just one year. Even more so, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from textile production.

In M7, a community-based event has been shedding light on textile waste and the negative effects of its production on our environment. Find out why you should visit UNWASTED before it closes its doors on December 27, 2020!

1. UNWASTED Land

Unwasted Land
The mountain of discarded waste depicting post-consumer waste in landfills

One of the things that you'll immediately notice upon entering the exhibition space is the color-coded mounds of clothing. Collected in just over 6 months, the clothes were formed in the shape of the famous sand dunes of the Inland Sea, one of Qatar's natural treasures.

In Qatar, most of the waste goes to landfills and that includes post-consumer waste such as discarded clothing. UNWASTED Land aims to show visitors what it would be like should we continue on our current path of filling up landfills with (textile) waste. The result will be catastrophic, not just for the environment but also for those who live in it.

2. UNWASTED Garb

Unwasted Garb
You can purchase any of these upcycled pieces by local designers

While UNWASTED Land presents the problem in an engaging way, UNWASTED Garb shows visitors some of the possible solutions to reduce textile waste specifically pre-consumer waste. The UNWASTED team invited 20 local designers to create a capsule collection entirely made using their pre-consumer waste. Offcuts, deadstock, overstock, product samples, fabric swatches, and more were upcycled to create revolutionary pieces.

Visitors will be able to buy clothing such as abayas, kids' clothing, ready-to-wear pieces as well as other items such as sculptures, pen holders, candles, and hand-made quilts.

3. UNWASTED Consciousness

Unwasted Consciousness
Workshops include working with pre-consumer waste such as scraps and cutoffs

To further engage the visitors, UNWASTED teamed up with partners in the community to provide interactive and fun activities for kids and adults. This includes film showings in collaboration with Doha Film Institute, kids workshops with Qatar Reads and Seam Tailoring, weaving workshop with Um Hashim, and a fabric dyeing workshop using food scraps with Touche Textile.

4. "Fitra" by Hamida Issa

Fitra by Hamida Issa
Come inside the tent for a sensory experience of "Fitra" by Hamida Issa

A video art installation inside a big tent on the other side of the UNWASTED exhibition space, the sensory experience reminds visitors about the relationship humans have with nature. "It's a reminder for people to go back to our inherent connection with nature, remember our part in it, and remember to take care of it," says Reem Al Sehlawi, from the UNWASTED team.

5. UNWASTED Commissary

Unwasted Commissary
Grab a bite or drink at the Unwasted Commissary

Every week, there's a different F&B partner joining the exhibition. Flat White is serving on the exhibition's last week while Flat 77 Cafe and Earth Cafe previously served visitors during the first and second week.

In keeping up with the theme of the exhibition, the F&B partners all served food and beverage in biodegradable packaging with the food waste collected for compost. Reem Al Sehlawi also shared that the leftover water is collected to be turned into irrigation in the community.

6. Women power

Four women coming from diverse backgrounds and all working in the fashion industry came together to raise awareness on the negative issues in their industry (such as textile waste) and how it's a part not just of the global environmental crisis but also the future of Qatar.

Aldana Al Mesnad, Reem Al Sehlawi, Jawaher Al Ahmed, and Sara Al Mesnad aim to "influence behavioral change, inspire adoption of greener alternatives, and nurture environmentalism across all demographics in Qatar society."

7. Eco-Event Level-II Award

Although the four women didn't have any event background, they believed that they can pull off an environmentally friendly event and become an example to other exhibitions geared towards raising awareness and consciousness. The team worked with Qatar Green Building Council's Eco-Event team down to the smallest detail to mitigate every factor in delivering the event.

According to Reem Al Sehlwai, UNWASTED's environmental manager, 90% of the materials used in the exhibition space come from recycled material. Some examples include the UNWASTED signage which was from old stores' signages in the old Msheireb town, furniture made from recycled material collected from junkyards and old warehouses as well as knocked down walls turned into counters for the F&B space.

Their efforts were rewarded because UNWASTED was granted the Eco-Event Level II Award which is a first in Qatar.

8. The power of community

"We're not affiliated with anyone, we're affiliated with everyone," says Reem Al Sehlawi. The four women brought the community together in this event which shows the strength of a community and what it can do when they're working for something they truly believe in and a purpose that will serve the present and future generations.

"The event had the help and support of many individuals and institutions in the country", Reem added.

The first event may be closing on the 27th but this is not the end for UNWASTED. Stay tuned because there'll definitely be more UNWASTED events in the near future.

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