Loose Threads to New Threads

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

by Joseph Langley

Loose Threads is a creative SLE about the issue of clothing waste, with the goal of collecting damaged clothing, using it in an art installation, and then recycling it. This unique approach is an original idea by senior Autumn Pecarovich, and will be put on from Feb. 24 to March 6, right after Ski Week. This gives students time to collect their ripped or stained clothing during the break, so that they can donate it in the weeks following.

Pecarovich spoke about the motivation behind her SLE; “Just recently I learned about how harmful the fast fashion industry is to both its workers and the planet, and I wanted to do my part and find a way to remedy these negative effects and show people that there is still hope to bring about environmental change.”

The importance of this issue cannot be overstated. Pecarovich also spoke about how applicable to everyday life this issue truly is, “An average person throws away 7 pounds of clothing a year, and I think that’s crazy, because there’s always a way to reuse that clothing. It breaks my heart to see a person throw away a good piece of clothing.”

She also made it clear that this is a clothing collection, not a clothing drive. “It’s a collection drive, usually a clothing drive is, like, Coats for Kids- which collects clothes to donate for children in need. That isn’t the main focus for mine, the idea is to recycle damaged clothing- either ripped, or stained- or anything that isn’t usable any more. Textiles that have lived their life and are ready to become something new.”

Pecarovich talked about the importance of doing your part in creating a healthy world, despite it often feeling like individual action doesn’t have a big impact. “Recycling isn’t the solution. Refusing is the first step, making sure that we aren’t contributing to the problem. But there’s an important psychology that comes with recycling. A lot of people think we can’t go back from our mistakes, but we can, and recycling does help.” This is essential, and is a primary motivator for the use of the clothing that Pecarovich collects.

Once the two weeks of clothing collection are over, she is going to be using the clothing to create an art pop up on campus.

Notably, she will be reusing trees that were seen in the entrance way of the Winter Formal dance, and she spoke about the reasons behind this decision. “This not only allows me to further reuse decorations, but it makes a statement about single use garments that are seen often at school dances, and are only worn once. They end up just sitting in someone’s closet, when they could have multiple lives with different wearers since they are usually in such good condition- and that really relates to this piece. That clothing doesn’t have to die with its first owner. This artwork will be an environmental statement piece that illustrates that potential clothing waste an individual creates over a lifetime.” This profound message will be on display from March 9 through March 13 on the stage in front of the media lounge and office. It will also be on display during the Spring Art Show. Be sure to keep your eyes out!

Pecarovich concluded by explaining how she came up with this creative and original idea. “I wanted to make it really visible to the community. That way, it could continue, and have a lasting impact on people at Minarets, so they can possibly take the message into their own lives and create a positive impact on the world around them. I hope it really does speak to my peers.”

Autumn Pecarovich has captured the spirit of a Senior Legacy Experience in this creative approach to clothing collection, recycling, and making an environmental statement. Make sure to start gathering your clothing over break, so that you’re ready to donate it when the collection drive starts! Through this approach, Pecarovich has expanded the influence of a donation from just a simple clothing drive, into the potential for a meaningful impact on people around the community.

As Pecarovich quoted, “You can’t do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good you can do.”

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