Since the water crisis began in Flint, Michigan over a year ago millions of plastic water bottles have made their way into the city to help ensure that residents have access to safe drinking water.
As much as that helped the people of Flint, it did very little for a city already suffering from the effects of irresponsible pollution. So when award-winning artist Mel Chin heard about the glut of empty bottles it sparked a very creative idea, and with the help of AAPN member Unifi waste has become beauty in the form of a fashion project called Flint Fit which is now on display in Chin’s All Over the Place exhibit at Queens Museum.
Over 90,000 used water bottles were collected by the people of Flint over the course of six weeks. Once sorted, the bottles were sent to Unifi, Inc., a textile manufacturer based here, where they were cleaned, shredded and transformed into Unify’s REPREVE recycled performance fiber.
The REPREVE fiber was then sent to Mount Vernon Mills and Texollini, where it was woven and knitted into fabric. Using this fabric, renowned New York fashion designer and Michigan native Tracy Reese designed a capsule collection for Flint Fit inspired by the power and necessity of water, manufacturing history of Flint, and resiliency of the Flint community.
“We’re proud to be a part of this exciting moment in art-fashion history,” said Jay Hertwig, Unifi’s Group Vice President Global Brand Sales. “At Unifi, we’re able to transform plastic bottles into REPREVE for products that people enjoy every day, and we’re thrilled that REPREVE is playing a key role in such a positive movement that came from something so catastrophic.”
As you can see in the video above, the results are stunning, and a testament to the commitment of everyone involved in creating something great out of something so terrible. The exhibit runs from April 8 to Aug. 12, 2018. For more information, please visit www.flint-fit.com.