Left luggage to designer fashion

Orsola de Castro and John Teall
Two designers were given the ultimate challenge: take suitcases full of unwanted clothes and create something meaningful. The results were on show at 'Reclaim' an exhibition at Eco Age in west London

Eco Age, in Chiswick west London, is under the flight path of Heathrow Airport, and with the Government's controversial plans for expansion would be even more affected by aircraft noise and pollution.

So perhaps it was only natural that Nicola Guiggioli, who runs this shop, showroom and consultancy, had it in his mind to make Heathrow Airport the theme of an exhibition that would somehow bring together fashion, design and sustainability.

He gave two designers a very short brief: take the contents of luggage abandoned at Heathrow, which is sold by the suitcase at specific auctions, and turn it into something unique and meaningful.

The result, 'Reclaim', was on show at Eco Age over two weeks, during London Design Festival. It brought together clothing designer Orsola de Castro, founder of the From Somewhere label and curator of the British Fashion Council's Estethica ethical fashion exhibition and John Teall, interior designer and furniture maker.

The exhibition's highlights include an explosive black wedding gown made from, amongst other things, knickers, and a bedspread made to look as if someone had just thrown the contents of a suitcase over the bed.

The aim of the Reclaim exhibition was to change the perception of 'green' fashion and design. It is also a timely reminder of the benefits of train travel: your worldly goods are much less likely to find their way into other people's hands.

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Matilda Lee is the Ecologist's Consumer Affairs Editor

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