Though the world bans plastic in every-day life, it’s still a dominant force on the runway of haute couture and the shelves of stores. Suddenly, wearing plastic became a trend, where fashion makers introduce more and more plastic- containing materials into the world under the label “recycled”. However, the nature of trends is a fast-paced, meaning that all the trendy garments will be disposed of. They will make their way into landfills and oceans, creating micro-plastic and polluting the environment. By wearing these garments on our bodies, we introduce plastic into the ecosystem, eventually consuming it by eating seafood. At this point plastic becomes us! All the garments in the video are provided by “Tintein” a hand-curated thrift collective, created by Aisha and Muna Khalaf and contained non-degradable substance in it, although, all have been reused and thrifted.
It is rare to find inquiries into the sustainability of our oceans, tempered by 80s colour blocking and power suits—an unusual approach taken by “Life in Plastic”, a film by Leyla Bulatova starring non-binary model Jude Karda. The short fashion film goes against the muted aesthetic that we have become accustomed to in the realms of environmental advocacy campaigns, instead it strikes a chord that seems to suggest that our relationship with colour and form has diverged from its most natural iterations; that of the organic world. Technicolour lighting, reds against blue, and plenty of plastic adorn the screen in this short clip; tempered by the shifting silhouette forms assumed by Jude in the various garments they wear. A nod in varying arrays to 80’s fashion “power dressing” movement. We wholly welcome representations of bodies beyond heteronormativity, particularly when it comes to the cultivation of intersectional environmentalism – sustainability being incorrectly synonymous with the cis-gender bodies of white women.
Flowers juxtaposed against cling wrap, finished off with spiked red stilettos – fish with straws sticking out of their bodies against a cerulean blue set design. It’s a stark reminder of the collective negligence that we have fallen under through our consumption by and participation in neo-liberal systems of capital and financial profit with complete disregard for the planet. Personally, I find environmental campaigns that converge with editorial-style aesthetics deeply interesting. I think in some ways this convergence shows the motivations of an industry of excess such as that of fashion advertising timeously making room for a new set of principles and values.