Updated February 6, 2018
The final product on display in The oculus Westfield World Trade Center.
This week there’s a new occupant in The Oculus Westfield World Trade Center in New York City: a twenty-eight-foot tall mannequin bringing to light the amount of waste in the fast-fashion industry.
Expanding from the ground floor up, the installation meets those entering on the second floor face-to-face and is the largest display in The Oculus to date.
Created by Seattle art collaborative Electric Coffin for Unilever Deodorants—maker of Degree Women antiperspirants and Dove products has partnered with Savers, a global thrift retailer—the two-story installation brings awareness to the 10.5 million tons of clothing that are discarded every year during Fashion Week.
Titled, “Stain-Less, Waste-Less,” the eye-catching mannequin is wearing a dress made of repurposed clothing. Throughout the design there are statistics about clothing waste and steps you can take to extend the life of your clothing.
Additionally, the site has multiple collection areas where clothing can be donated to a local nonprofit organization.
Launched in 2010 by three Seattle-based artists, Electric Coffin is a multi-disciplinary design studio that combines discarded materials, vernacular mythologies, and pop symbols to create inspired pieces of artwork which, at times, merge with the commercial world.
Having previously created an installation based around the concept of fast fashion (the practice of creating and consuming fashion which is meant to exist for a short period of time before being discarded) for Savers and Edelman, Unilever and Savers approached Electric Coffin to create a display for the World Trade Center that will be in place February 6 and 7.
When tasked with creating one of the installations, Taylor Reed, creative designer and marketing director for Electric Coffin, said they have to consider how to engage the client’s audience and create a piece that will “be an exclamation mark within the space.”
Reed explained, “This piece was particularly interesting because the first round that we did was for Savers and Edleman, and it was trying to bring to light the fast fashion industry and the waste that happens in the industry. So we did three installations in Toronto, one in Vancouver, and one in Seattle.
“This time, Unilever came to the table and said, ‘You know, we totally love what you guys did. We want to do something totally new for Fashion Week in New York and go bigger,’” he continued. “We said, ‘That sounds fantastic.’ These [installations] are really fun because they’re only up for a short period of time and you really have to engage people in a different way than in a permanent space.”
When asked about the possible backlash when speaking out against fast fashion during Fashion Week, Reed said, “It’s more about awareness than making a huge statement against it. It’s fashion week, and it is a statement, and I think that’s important in this world is to always have a stance against something. I think Unilever and Savers are on the right track with this.”