The global fashion industry is conservatively estimated to be worth $1.3 trillion USD, it is one of the biggest industries and sources of employment in developing countries. It consumes an unimaginable and unsustainable amount of natural resources on an annual basis.
Exploring the links between consumption and production, Second Skin has sought to develop collaborations between Irish fashion designers, woollen mills and textile producers, digital fabric producers, tailors, retailers and upcyclers. The exhibition will include a mixture of work resulting from collaborations plus an interactive and participative space exploring recent international developments in sustainable fashion production. Second Skin posed a challenge to four Irish fashion labels - Jennifer Rothwell, Joanne Hynes, NATALIEBCOLEMAN and Lennon Courtney - to design, source and produce a garment or range of clothing on the island of Ireland and to document the opportunities and challenges in doing so. In the realisation of these garments, designers collaborated with and were supported by a myriad of third level institutes, organisations and producers in Dublin, Donegal, Derry, Kilkenny and Wicklow.
Louise Allen, exhibition curator hopes that: "Second Skin will help to create a dialogue and raise further awareness in order to empower people to make conscious and informed choices; choices that support and foster pride in our indigenous and internationally recognised fashion designers. It is my ambition that the dialogues and conversations supported by research currently being undertaken into manufacturing and production on the island of Ireland will provide a very real foundation for future investment in the sector and in the fashion industry."
Read the full text of the curator's essay here.
You can also read the introductory address here by Eddie Shanahan at ‘Second Skin’, National Design & Craft Gallery, 7th November 2014.
Second Skin exhibitions to date include:
- National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny: 7th November 2014 - 25 January 2015
- City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London, UK: 16 March - 25 March 2015
- The Playhouse, 5-7 Artillery St, Derry ~ Londonderry, NI: 8 June - 16 July 2015
- The Main Guard, Clonmel,Tipperary: 3 November - 23 December 2015