2022 (IN PROGRESS)
pair of fast fashion denim, 2,000 gallons of fresh water
glass tank, 6' D x 10' H
The fashion industry is believed to be one of the most polluting and detrimental to the environment. In addition to resulting in massive fast fashion graveyards like Chile's Atacama Desert, the water footprint is unjustifiable as the world faces drought and restricted access to life-sustaining fresh water.
Environmental research shows that it takes approximately 2,000 gallons of water to manufacture a single pair of denim. According to the UN, that's equivalent to about the amount of water an average person consumes over a period of seven years. Estimates signal that the fashion industry's annual water usages amounts to enough water for 5 million people to survive. Not only does the manufacture of clothing consume vital fresh water but produces 20% of global wastewater.
There are other staggering environment impacts from the fashion industry, not limited to greenhouse gas emissions and microfiber pollution in oceans.
Phantom Thread is a 2,000 gallon cylindrical tank that contains a suspended pair of fast fashion denim. Over time, the natural fibers will decompose leaving remnants of synthetic fibers, phantom threads that continue to haunt us and act as a ghostly reminder of the infinite environmental impact. The artwork is designed for the viewer to experience the physical expansiveness of the amount of water necessary to generate a pair of pants that often get little use and quickly contribute to landfills and climate change.
While awaiting funding, experiments are being conducted to document the decomposition of natural fibers in comparison to synthetics. Fibers have been submerged in fresh water, salt water, detergent, and softener to measure decomposition rates.
56% cotton, 33% polyester, 11% spandex fabric suspended in 10 qt. fresh water