Recycled wool yarn, Jute sack, Video
In this project I wanted to reflect on slow fashion, tradition, and material appreciation as an opposite to fast fashion. When I thought about the problems of fashion industry, I realized clearer than ever that we are the only animal that needs clothes to survive. We do not consider ourselves as a part of nature anymore, but we see nature as something separate, something to exploit or something to protect.
I chose sheep wool as my main material. As a Finnish person it was a natural choice and also, I feel like there is some kind of authenticity in wool and I would like to see it (among many other materials) getting more acknowledgement.
Thinking of traditional craft techniques, ryijy seemed to fit best for my purpose. It is a slow process that often utilizes scraps or recycled yarn.
I also wanted to make the piece wearable to highlight the slow fashion aspect of my work and because nowadays ryijy is most often seen as a static artwork on the wall.
I visited a farm and walked couple of hours among the sheep in -25°C to get a sense how the original owners felt about their fur. After that I bought all the misshaped and worn woolly clothes I could find from fleamarkets and the recycling centre and started to untie the yarns. I sew a vest together from an old sack of oats found from a barn and started to tie the ryijy knots in it and videoed the work. The whole process took me three seasons.
Photos: Ronald Smits & Mira Niittymäki