Dissolving is a crucial step in the food cycle. Food wastes must be dissolved to grow plants to cultivate food. This logic applies the same to wastes coming from food packaging and labeling. However, as the plastic was introduced, it was excessively used that dissolving is not happening as it should be – it takes up to 1000 years for plastic items to decompose in landfills and the rate of plastic being produced is incomparably high to that of plastic being dissolved.
Although people recently became aware of using fewer plastics that many stores started using paper bags instead of plastic bags, it is not just plastics that people should be concerned about. Indeed, paper bags take less time to decompose. However, they are used exceedingly and they are very often thrown away after a single-use, especially due to its fragile nature to pressure and moisture. There are more and more trees being cut down to produce paper bags, yet they are treated as another trash, creating even more trash. If this rate continues, there would be no more natural resources, like trees, which would disable people from growing food that people might suffer from hunger and die.
In order to inform people of paper wastes and to underscore sustainability, we came to design a fashion product, a bag, using paper bags from the market. By creating a fashion product, we also aimed to criticize fashion industries as they are known to produce an incredible amount of wastes. We specifically chose paper bags from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for our materials as they specify to recycle the bags.
When doing the research, we found that it is prevalent for fashion companies to make statements about their eco-friendly policies. However, some of the companies are greenwashing their reputation by focusing less on the sustainability of their products, but on the peripheral actions taken. We found an article stressing on the green certification that Bottega Veneta received in 2014 and stated that BV is the first fashion company to receive the certificate. However, after close examination, we realized that the renowned certificate is actually LEED, which is an architectural sustainability certification, so the honor should be pivoted on the atelier of Bottega Veneta instead of the whole company.
We want to design a real sustainable fashion brand by upcycling the packaging materials. We wanted to follow the style of a renowned brand to be directly comparable so that the only difference comes from the material. We chose to parody Bottega Veneta, because it is only a seemingly eco-friendly brand and because the structure of the brand is easy to design.
Process of Making
We used multiple layers of paper bags to make a strip for extra sturdiness and crossed the strips together to follow the form. We made two bags in different styles but following Bottega Veneta’s. The bags were actually sturdy enough to hold the usual items that can be found in a handbag like a phone, keys and a wallet. Moreover, they were professionally cut and woven which gave a crisp and chic aesthetics to be believable. Plus, we named our bags Vottega Beneta to obviously parody Bottega Veneta.
To continue promoting our bags, we also made posters, videos that follow the style of luxury brands’ commercials. By showing the making of the bag and focusing on its aesthetic value, the audience will come to know our intention. We also created an Instagram account of which style is in the same manner as Bottega Veneta so that the material we used for our bags gets attention by being the only deviation.
“Real Sustainability. Real Fashion” is our motto and we want to deliver the importance of sustainability and criticize fashion industries through our products to our audience.