Food & Drink

Go See This Art Installation on Alki for Earth Day

The work by Seattle's Electric Coffin in partnership with Value Village will be up through tonight

By Lauren Mang April 22, 2016

A large pile of clothes on the beach at sunset.

As part of its Rethink Reuse campaign, which aims to start a conversation around the impact that textile waste has on the environment, global thrift retailer Value Village picked West Seattle’s Alki Beach as the site for its large-scale Earth Day art installation.

The installation was designed by Ballard creative firm Electric Coffin (I’m a huge fan of their work; read all about it here) and seeks to raise awareness about the sheer amount of clothing (around 80 pounds per person per year) that Americans throw out.

“Most people don’t think about what happens with their clothing when they’re done with it, so we wanted to do something that would really stand out,” Value Village’s vp of recycling and reuse Tony Shumpert says. “In picking Alki [for the site of the installation] and Electric Coffin, it would cause people to stop and take a moment and really try to understand what it was and have an opportunity to get some information about the impact that textile waste has.”

All of the clothing used in the work was collected by Value Village’s non-profit partners who collect used clothing and household goods throughout the community, and once the installation is dismantled (tonight around 7 p.m.), the clothing will be returned to the company’s huge recycling distribution facility in Fife, Wash., where it will find new life or be recycled. 

Shumpert’s hope with this installation is that it will spark people to think more about what they do with their clothing once they’re done and inform viewers that there are “other alternatives” to just throwing an old t-shirt or a pair of jeans away. “An individual t-shirt takes close to 750 gallons of water to be produced, from growing the cotton all the way through the production process,” he says. “So if you’re able to incoporate some element of reuse in your shopping habits, it’s one of the simplest and easiest ways that you can make a direct impact.”

Stop by Alki Beach today through this evening to take a gander. It’s located at 59th Avenue SW and Alki Avenue SW.


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