Making Isan textiles into sustainable fashion

Since sustainability is a controversial topic in the fashion world and the textile industry, which has grown rapidly and contributed to the waste crisis, the hand-made textile brand BWILD Isan has retrieved cultural identity in local craftsmanship and turned waste material into an artistically woven collection for the first solo exhibition "House Of Fabric-Ation".

I'll Always Love You by Thakorn Tavornchotivong. (Photos: Kittipoj Puthpongsiriporn)

In this exhibition, BWILD developed a new material by using a wide range of local ingredients and recycled fibres from scraps such as lemongrass, pineapples, rice straws, rubber bands, silk, plastics and aluminium foil to create Isan textile designs with beautiful weaving patterns.

Kanchana Shnatepaporn, the founder of BWILD, said: "We used garbage as the main material to create new fibres and reduce cotton production as this fluffy fibre is not eco-friendly due to its high water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. "We see value in all leftovers in the fashion industry, so we tried to reuse them and increase their value in our community. We just don't want new fabrics but also want local craftsmen to embrace their traditional artisan skills to do embroidery and transform waste into different items, adding more value to their materials."

Moreover, her brand's ultimate goal is to support all local artisans working in their hometowns and generate long-term income from their woven products for the local community in the Northeast.

Never Waste A Second Chance. 

Inspired by transparent specimens, artist Thakorn Tavornchotivong created a 15m-long, neon-coloured image I'll Always Love You to express his affection and test his patience by knitting vinyl plastic sheets together using monofilament yarn on a flat knitting machine.

Benjaporn Krutkul shared local beliefs and cultures through auspicious patterns in her elegant black dress. Woven from sai sin threads and dyed with ngai camphor leaves, this cotton dress reflects the Isan ceremony to call for the spiritual force kwan that keeps peace in life.

BWILD brought skilled designers, students and craftsmen from Baan Fang district in Khon Kaen, including the Fabric and Textile Creative Design Center, to improve local wisdom and experiment with new fabric technology for this showcase.

"House Of Fabric-Ation" is part of the Isan Creative Festival, running until Sunday, at the air-conditioned bus terminal in Khon Kaen.

Visit bwildisan.com or isancreativefestival.com for further information.

Circular Line. 

Backpack Exotic Siam Collection by Thakorn Tavornchotivong.

A close-up of Backpack Exotic Siam Collection by Thakorn Tavornchotivong.

A close-up of Never Waste A Second Chance by Fabric and Textile Creative Design Center (FTCDC) 

Semiotics and Beliefs of Textile to the Enlightened Living by Benjaporn Krutkul 

From the student by Thakorn Tavornchotivong

Reverse the waste by Thakorn Tavornchotivong 

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