Recycling Creativity

In this live project, students worked with Bristol Textile Recyclers (BTR), a family owned company who collect unwanted textiles/clothes, shoes, handbags and bric-a-brac items from over 300 different sites within the UK. The brief required an investigation into the use of textile as part of an installation piece, before consideration of the factory processes and facilities.

Firstly, an installation was designed using low grade textile materials. The intent here was to demonstrate how something deemed unwanted and poor quality can be turned into something attractive and thought provoking. The result was a curved ‘bench’ weighing 125kg, which is the amount of textiles that comes through the doors to BTR every 3 minutes. The bench was presented at the opening of the Phoenix café in Bristol.

Consideration of the factory processes and facilities focused on the small office block at the front of the site, which read as separate from the factory building. The office benefitted in being redesigned in order to provide reception and office space as well as enabling a more efficient link into the production area of the factory.

The notion of an educational premise and drawing the pubic into the recycling process was integral to the design and resulted in designing workshops at first floor looking out onto the factory and opening up to integrate the sights and sounds of the sorting process.

The main feature of the new design was the incorporation of low graded clothes into the building, as experimented in our installation. This resulted in a large two storey sweeping wall, made of compacted recycled clothes, leading people through the reception, up the stairs and into either the workshops or offices.

UWE March Students: Shelley Oliver, Zane Putne, Hannah Pigrem, Brittany Bedford, Matthew Holbrook, Callum Garrison

Client: Amy Campanella at Bristol Textile Recycling Ltd.

Project Length: October 2014 - December 2014