Greg(Norman), Harry(Potter), Nick(& Nora), Rose(La vie en), Christian(Dior), Ralph(Lauren), Eden(Park) and Vera(Wang)* are Spare Buttons. 50cm diameter, each made from approximately 1000 recycled buttons.
It’s well known that Fast Fashion has contributed to the exploitation of workers and damage to the environment.
The proliferation of cheap clothing and its practices means that many components of quality clothing have disappeared and now no one notices and it’s expected that patterns and checks on side seams don’t match up, seams are so narrow that with the slightest wear they come apart, and badly cut garments go out of shape very easily. Natural fibres are rarely used so clothing doesn’t breath, however it does shrink and pill. All factors that lead to garments only being worn a few times and then thrown away.
One ubiquitous item that does remain is the spare button. Stitched into a side seam with the care label or in a little plastic bag on a swing tag, it probably stays in place or in a drawer for the life of the garment.
Do people realise it’s there? Can many people sew this spare button if required? Or do they simply throw them away?
*The titles refer to a single rare button only found on that Spare Button!
Spare Buttons, my first venture into creating work for an outdoor sculpture exhibition was shown at Sculptures on the Scarp in the beautiful bush setting at Darlington’s Station Reserve, 2- 3 November 2019.