Consumption begets waste, which ushers in problems of its own, Dean adds. “When we consume so much, we tend to dispose of more,” she says. “this unpalatable pattern of clothing waste, which we see in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the world, is creating vast negative environmental and social impacts.”
Hong Kong people consign an average 95,550 tons of textiles to landfills every year, or roughly 11,250 garments every hour, according to the Chinese territory’s Environmental Protection Department.
Model and Redress ambassador Elva Ni, who inaugurated the sculpture, says she hopes consumers will rethink their relationship with their wardrobe. “I encourage everybody to cherish their clothes more and be part of a positive change to help reduce waste before it’s too late for our environment,” she says.
YWASTE? has another fan in Christine Loh, undersecretary for the environment. “The issue of waste, from fashion to food, is highly important to our community,” she says. “It’s pleasing to see this YWASTE? initiative probe fundamental questions and to see that private sector, academia and the [non-governmental organization] sectors are combining their voices with this creative visual piece that underpins the need for change.”
Rounding out the exhibit, which runs through July 20 at Hong Kong’s K11 shopping mall, is a series of do-it-yourself fashion workshops and educational talks. At the event’s conclusion, all dismantled garments will be donated to local charities.