24 Sept 2022

Mary Cody: ‘Buy Me’ makes us think twice about how and why we consume

 ‘Buy Me’ makes us think twice about how and why we consume

‘Buy Me’ makes us think twice about how and why we consume

Our relationship with fashion and our needless thirst for consumption will be explored in an original multi-disciplinary piece of art which will be performed later this month at The Goods Shed at MacDonagh Junction.
Fast fashion is one of the greatest sources of waste and pollution in the modern world and textiles are polluting our land, air and water.
Too often we buy cheap clothes that are manufactured by poorly-paid workers in the developing world. We don't think too deeply about the human and environmental cost our gross consumption.
Our relationship with fashion is a complex one. Fewer people design and make their own clothes choosing instead to buy cheap garments that will be literally thrown away in a matter of months. This textiles end up in landfill and often the materials used manufacturing these garments are toxic and these poisons seep in our water and sink into our lands.
How we choose to dress ourselves says a lot about how we view ourselves and it is a wonderful means of self-expression. However many people have become addicted to the cheap thrill of low cost garments without reflecting on the consequences of their choices.
The Consuming Project began in January with a series of workshops exploring our relationship with fashion and the impact it has on our lives and environment.
The project is being spearheaded by theatre maker and artist, Ita Morrissey and is supported by arts collective, Open Circle and The Arts Council of Ireland.
It is a wonderful community initiative with people from all walks of life contributing and collaborating. It has made people think and act and question long-standing habits and made different and more informed and relevant choices.
As part of The Consuming Project participants have devised and created costumes and much of the set using recycled materials with textile artist, Dee Harte, who has also come on board. In recent weeks a series of workshops were also held on doll making using pre-loved materials. It is this reusing and recycling of materials that is pivotal in a shifting of attitudes and behaviours. Consuming for the sake of consuming has resulted in an avalanche of waste and this has to change.
People will also have a need to consume on some level we need to do this in a more sustainable and ethically-based way. Most importantly though is to be a conscious consumer - to buy high quality garments, shoes and accessories and to research and inform yourself on how the product is manufactured, what type of materials are used and whether the product will biodegrade in time.
The growth of charity shops is also to be welcomed. Kilkenny is home to a multitude of stores that both benefit a variety of worthy causes and also direct unwanted textiles away from landfill.
Another growing trend is the concept of hosting a swap event where groups gather and give away their unwanted possessions - giving credence to the old adage that what is rubbish to one person is treasure to another. This events also re-direct what would have become waste and give it a new lease of life.
The culmination of the project will take place nightly at The Goods Shed with performances at 7pm on June 29 and 30 and July 1 and 2. Tickets are available from Mac Donagh Junction Shopping Centre and Rollercoaster Records.

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