Seventy per cent of China’s rivers are polluted with chemicals from textile factory effluent. Those chemicals end up in drinking water, and have a major impact on human health and the environment. Concept, product and textile designer Nienke Hoogvliet is investigating how a new material made from the effluent, kaumera, might actually be able to reduce the harm. She has discovered that kaumera helps textiles absorb dyes better, thus reducing water consumption.
It is not only the effluent from the textile industry that is a problem. The scale of textile production is equally alarming, with 80 billion garments bought every year – an average of eleven items for each inhabitant of the planet. The cheap clothes promoted by fast fashion are bought and discarded without a second thought. But a kimono is the absolute opposite. Traditionally, these garments have been passed on and cherished through several generations.
The Kaumera Kimono is Nienke Hoogvliet’s way of acting against fast fashion while at the same time showing that there are other ways of thinking about how we wear and produce clothes. She used two natural dyes derived from the effluent, anammox and vivianite, to dye the kimono.
This object is part of the Design by Nature collection of Museum de Fundatie. On this page you will find more information about this exhibition and you can visit it digitally via a video tour.