This project has the aim to introduce a new economic theory, namely “Denim Economics’. An economic philosophy based on alternative values, which wants to “repair” imbalances in current economic behaviour. The fashion industry is an industry that perfectly demonstrates the (in)ability of present economic theories. By appealing to the human power of beauty, aesthetics and harmony, this art project explores an alternative model for the fashion industry.
Clothing has always been a means of communication. In addition to functional features such as covering and protection, clothing gives you the ability to differentiate, to express mood and even seduce people. Clothes transform you from an individual to a social being. Despite of several disasters at production facilities, the fashion industry is far from social. Labour conditions are still inferior in their business models, with modern slavery as a result. Big jeans brands spend about 25 times more on advertising than on wages for the workers.
DenimEconomics believes that the aesthetics of the material is connected with the aesthetics of the mind, and brings it into harmony. It undermines the hierarchy of market thinking and synthesizes market values with intrinsic value. DenimEconomics’ approach to the jeans fashion is that it does not have to be volatile, or rapidly changing. Conversely, by wearing jeans for a long time you can discover the real beauty and value of the jeans. Wearing creates a personal relationship with the garment and a respectful appreciation for the talent and the person behind the product.
In the western world, jeans are after a period of wearing discarded and “donated” in the recycle bin as “charity” to the so-called “third world”. This makes the hierarchy of consuming clear in a sensational way. DenimEconomics will disassemble this hierarchy by introducing a different destination for these second hands jeans.
Mayan weavers from Guatemala will transform discarded jeans into unique products with a personal story. They will restore and beautify the jeans with weaving patterns and embroidery. This creates a symbolic link between western countries and the Mayans from Guatemala, a culture where craftsmanship of weavers are still appreciated and where people still feel connected to clothing. With this intervention the history of the wearer of the jeans as well as the maker is underlined.
Experience yourself the “look” of the aesthetics of material and spirit and become part of this work. Build forward on your story and give your favourite pair of jeans a second life. It is a conscious choice more than a rage and the process goes slow. You show that you attach to material, love your clothes, give about the wellbeing of nature and that you appreciate the people that are making you clothing. Through this process you will experience DenimEconomics.