Long Live Fashion!

25 September 2021 till 27 March 2022

How do we extend the lifecycle of our clothing? How can we repair and reuse? And what does sustainable couture look like? In the interactive exhibition ‘Long Live Fashion!’ you can discover how pre-loved textiles are transformed into new fashion and get hands-on with repairing and upcycling clothes. Celebrate and experience sustainable fashion, with work by Ronald van der Kemp, Duran Lantink, Matty Bovan and Christien Meindertsma, among others.

We have heard about the problems of fast fashion before, but how do we contribute to a circular textile chain? In collaboration with designers Christien Meindertsma and Harm Rensink and textile recycling company Wolkat, the TextielMuseum presents an interactive exhibition that positively inspires to use our clothing more sustainably. Discover the large amount of raw materials that are used for our clothes in a space-filling installation, actively (learn to) repair clothing in Fixing Fashion, and have a custom fashion item made with recycled textiles in an actual Microfactory. Of course, renowned fashion designers and emerging fashion talents also inspire us with innovative and eye-catching couture made from recycled textiles.

Sustainable couture by RVDK, photos: Marijke Aerden

Hundreds of garments
The exhibition opens with an installation by Christien Meindertsma. The renowned product designer, known for her curiosity about the origin of products and her meticulous research into processes, analyses hundreds of discarded garments for the exhibition together with a group of volunteers. Each of the garments has been photographed and examined in terms of composition. Using hundreds of unique information cards on the wall, Meindertsma visually provides insight into how many raw materials are used in our clothing. For her research, the designer delved into the collecting and processing operations of Wolkat, the Tilburg textile recycling company that supplies the discarded textiles for the exhibition.

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Custom-made circular fashion items are created on site in the Microfactory, through which you give discarded textiles another life.

Breathe new life into old clothing
In the innovative textile Microfactory at the heart of the exhibition, you can have circular fashion items custom made from second-hand textiles (for a fee). The Microfactory is a small machine park run by fashion students from ROC Tilburg and Summa College Eindhoven. Choose a design by Christien Meindertsma or one of the designs by the young talents Miguel Peñaranda Olmeda and Chloé Douy, winners of the design competition that the TextielMuseum organised together with BANK15. Custom-made circular fashion items are created on site in the Microfactory, through which you give discarded textiles another life. This is also possible with repairing and upcycling clothing; in the  Fixing Fashion room you can get hands-on repairing and pimping your clothes, for example with the popular sashiko stitching technique.

winnende ontwerpen design contest
Comfort zone, a sustainable design for the Microfactory, photo: Chloé Douy

Sustainable haute couture
As a celebration of sustainable fashion, ‘Long Live Fashion!’ of course also offers a stage for established and emerging fashion talent that transforms post-consumer and post-industrial textiles into couture or streetwear. Exemplary of this are the beautiful couture pieces La Fée Volante and La Robe Peinture à Franges from the couture collection SS 2021 by Ronald van der Kemp (RVDK). Duran Lantink also stirs the imagination with his eye-catching Oscient Otiose Dress from his unique Springsummerautumnwinter 2021 collection. With this collection, he disrupts the regular seasons of the fashion world and as a statement introduces an unusually long fashion season. You can also admire beautiful outfits by Bethany Williams from her collection No Recourse to Public Funds, as well as sustainable fashion creations from 2021 International Woolmark Prize winner Matty Bovan.

Matty Bovan Studio’s Odyssey (AW2021), Photo: Matty Bovan Studio

The TextielMuseum also commissioned the development of new circular fashion items in the TextielLab, including yarns developed by Wolkat made from discarded textiles. Promising talents Matthew Needham and Stina Randestad have been nominated for these commissions by New Order of Fashion, a platform that links international design talents to the fashion industry. In the exhibition they show the (interim) results of their work in the TextielLab.

Discounts and workshops
A Drop & Loop machine will be installed in the TextielMuseum especially for the exhibition, through which visitors can hand in their old clothing in exchange for a special discount in the museum. During the course of the exhibition, the TextielMuseum will also be organising various workshops and masterclasses around the theme of sustainable fashion. Want to stay informed? Keep an eye on our social media channels for more information and sign up for the newsletter.