According to a Greenpeace survey, every Hong Konger discards an average of 15.4 kilograms of clothing annually, equivalent to 102 t-shirts. Data from the Environmental Protection Department shows that in 2020, 87,120 metric tons of textile waste were generated, but the recycling rate was only 7.3%, with more than 90% of reusable clothing sent to landfills.
Whilst the pandemic has put the recycling industry in difficult positions, the fast fashion market has grown larger – even creating an oversupply of second-hand clothing. Over 3,000 toxic chemicals are commonly used in the textile industry. Some of these chemicals are difficult to degrade naturally and will seep beneath the soil to pollute groundwater. In addition, it takes at least 200 years for clothing to decompose – releasing the greenhouse gas methane which accelerates global warming. This is why it is so important for the public to learn and practice the idea of ‘cherish instead of consuming, reuse instead of recycling’ when it comes to clothing items.
The Tee Knitter is a large hand-knitting installation with enlarged hooks to knit thick yarns. Participants can bring their own old t-shirts to be cut into yarns, and use the knitting machine to weave the yarns into cylindrical knitted items of different sizes. What can you do with the knitted structures? The only limit is your imagination!
Alize Lam is a product designer specialising in upcycling using a variety of recycled materials. In the past decade, Alize has designed various self-assembly kits utilising discarded materials to respond to social issues through design.
In a digital age where battery-free mechanical toys and musical instruments of yesteryears become a rarity, Alize wishes to recreate these timeless designs and wisdom through deconstructing, learning and rebuilding these toys and instruments. By designing a series of DIY kits, Alize hopes to inspire people to learn making products from the ground up, and to understand the deeper relationship between people and products – beyond mere transactions, but a valuable experience and process in itself. Offering an eye-opening alternative for those who are too used to blindly consuming and discarding items every day.
The ground floor shop at No. 72A, Blue House now accommodated “Hong Kong House of Stories” (formerly “Wanchai Livelihood Place”).
Hong Kong House of Stories aims at assembling multiple cultures from the community. With community participation and support from different partners, it frequently organises a variety of community cultural events promoting local culture, including exhibitions, workshops, community guided tours and more. Community art and culture activities including film shows, music concerts are also arranged as a way to revitalise the community. As a community platform, Hong Kong House of Stories enhances interaction and exchange within.
St. James’ Settlement Green Ladies has actively promoted and encouraged secondhand fashion reuse in Hong Kong. Secondhand business is expanded to kids wear and established Green Little in 2016, in order to provide an eco-shopping platform for parents and kids. Through collection of high quality kids wear, we promote secondhand clothing for sustainable use of resources.