Based On: Greenpeace's Little Monsters Campaign
Exhibited in Singapore Polytechnic Design School 'Humanism' Exhibition
Away from the prying eyes of the public lies a city of garment factories, using gallons of chemicals to manufacture our everyday clothing. These chemicals, absent in the contents of the clothing labels, are often overlooked or ignored by parents due to said reason. And there lies the danger; these chemicals are harming children's health without their knowledge.
When exposed to children, the risk of getting affected increases tenfold, primarily due to the young ones' developing immune system. It is therefore the aim of this project to expose these chemicals to parents, the target audience, as well as to educate them on measures to avoid these invisible fiends.
Scope Of Exploration:
This is a school project. The research data from this project are credited to the Little Monsters campaign from Greenpeace.
This project delves into five main chemicals potent in children's clothing; Antimony, Phthalates, Organotins, PFCs(Per- and poly- fluorinated chemicals), and NPEs (Nonylphenol ethoxylates/ Nonylphenols). Each chemical has different properties and appears in different types of fabric. In order for parents to be educated, they must first be aware of these chemicals. The creative concept below explains how this project intends to clearly expose their dangers.
1. Hockney's Joiner (ref.) is a photography style that consists of several images pieced together to form one big image. This allows us to experiment with different fabric materials for each piece and have one big canvas consisting of a variety of fabrics. The fabrics used are standard cloth used in garments that contain these chemicals.
The photograph will be that of a young child, wearing different articles of clothing. Various close-ups of the model are taken and subsequently pieced together (shown below). Different clothing are worn to show the variety of clothes a child will wear throughout the day, as these chemicals may be equally potent in all of them.
2. Light Paintings of the harmful effects of the chemicals are superimposed onto the final piece, looking like an "X-Ray" of the body, revealing what the naked eye couldn't see. They are in a glaring red, some illustrating internal organs, and others illustrating skin irritations; all of which are caused by these chemicals.
3. Image Transfers are used to transfer the printed Hockney's Joiner piece onto the fabrics. These fabrics were gathered from various clothing stores, and vary in material. Each material corresponds to the chemical that is found inside. This allows parents to touch and feel the different dangerous fabrics that they might've exposed their children to.
4. Darning is a technique of hand-embroidery used to mend holes (damage) in fabric. Just like how these chemicals are "polluting" the fabric, stitches are darned onto the canvas to show the presence of damage done by the chemicals.
The colour of the stitches darned correspond to the colours of the spot they're on, as if camouflaging into the fabric itself, since the chemicals are so well-hidden from the public.
5. Custom Labels for each chemical are made, resembling standard clothing labels on garments in store, since the chemicals don't appear in the contents of the latter. These custom labels contain information about the chemicals, and the necessary measures parents should take to stop them. They are sewn on to the fabric canvas like standard labels.
Below are the custom labels, four for each of the five chemicals. They give information on the fabric they're found in, health effects on the children's body, safer alternatives to look for, and a QR code to link to Greenpeace's report, where we got all this information from, as a form of credibility.