A big name in sustainable British fashion, Matthew Needham is presenting his 2020 collection and new commission at the TextielMuseum’s ‘Long Live Fashion!’ exhibition in Tilburg, The Netherlands. With his installation titled ‘Home Explorer’, the British/Czech designer and CSM grad works primarily with recycled felt, and is preoccupied with sustainability. Known for his contribution to upcycling in British fashion, Needham champions a new approach towards clothing design – utilising fly tipped waste and materials most would find ‘unusable.’ Even Emma Watson is a fan, with the designer’s eco-conscious pieces forging questions about the relationship we have with our clothing, and the influence it can have on our evolution.
‘Home Explorer’, as the collection’s title aptly suggests, consists of an amalgamation of household materials which aim to reimagine everyday items to create an outfit for an exploration. One of the key features of the installation is ‘The Home Explorer Jacket’, a waterproof jacket sourced from a textile recycling plant. The original jacket has been unpicked, taken apart, and used to create the pattern for a laser-cut interior in recycled felt.
Upcycling is built into both appearance and functionality with this standout piece: from visible elements like the jacket’s original waterproof tape, to the lining, taken from a repurposed Uber Eats jacket.
Also on show will be elements from Needham’s 2020 Graduate Collection ‘ØYEBLIKK’. A standout piece from this collection, the ‘Ship Sail Jacket,’ is made from a repurposed sail, tents, and suitcases. Needham himself has highlighted the importance of experience when considering his work, saying that it is ‘educational and conscious, to ultimately inspire a more sustainable approach to living our human lives in parallel with the planet. For me, the value is in reincarnation. It’s in using our human, creative initiative to rethink how we can use materials in a different way.’
Needham’s work is featured as part of the wider ‘Long Live Fashion’ interactive exhibition at the museum, which is designed to inspire a more sustainable relationship to clothing. It will also feature work from designers including Ronald van der Kemp and Matty Bovan. The exhibition runs until March 2022, and you can get tickets here.