Silkscreen

We wanted to make merchandise to promote MELT and our “Recycled by Hand” tagline to the UBC Community,  but we didn’t want people to have to buy a brand new product to spread the word of the circular economy. 

We were introduced to silkscreening by Hannah Marsland, the artist with whom we collaborated to make the ALTER sketchbooks. She was able to get us access to the printmaking studio in the visual art department, where we joined forces with a few artists we met there to create silk screen  designs that represent the importance of recycling and the need for more change as we move forward. Each piece of MELT Collective apparel would be unique, and would save all the energy and materials from creating a new shirt, bag, notebook, etc.

Screen Printing is a simple way to breathe new life into  a tired garment and give it a fresh face in a sustainable way. The process produces very little waste and screens can be reused indefinitely with new designs. We organized an event for students to upgrade and improve clothes that had lost their sparkle and appeal by adding exciting new touches to them, thus preventing fabric waste and keeping products and material in use longer. These are the first and second principles of circular economy.

Learning from the waste audit we did a few months prior, we set up a booth on the busiest plaza on campus in front of the AMS nest in order to reach as many people as we could. Prior to the event, we asked people to bring their old shirts, tote bags, pants, hats, or anything they want to “tattoo”. We also provided some fabrics for a toonie, which were donated to us by FabCycle, a Vancouver based organisation that diverts textile waste from landfills by collecting scraps from factories.

We hoped to inspire and empower people with knowledge and tools to upcycle the waste around them into better things.  The entirely DIY silk screening process is a perfect way of promoting our “Recycle by Hand” tagline. Through this event, we learned about different opportunities and possibilities for silkscreening; for instance, our friend Sean silkscreened his Macbook and the fabric paint we used adhered like a stencil.

Silkscreen

We wanted to make merchandise to promote MELT and our “Recycled by Hand” tagline to the UBC Community,  but we didn’t want people to have to buy a brand new product to spread the word of the circular economy. 

We were introduced to silkscreening by Hannah Marsland, the artist with whom we collaborated to make the ALTER sketchbooks. She was able to get us access to the printmaking studio in the visual art department, where we joined forces with a few artists we met there to create silk screen  designs that represent the importance of recycling and the need for more change as we move forward. Each piece of MELT Collective apparel would be unique, and would save all the energy and materials from creating a new shirt, bag, notebook, etc.

Screen Printing is a simple way to breathe new life into  a tired garment and give it a fresh face in a sustainable way. The process produces very little waste and screens can be reused indefinitely with new designs. We organized an event for students to upgrade and improve clothes that had lost their sparkle and appeal by adding exciting new touches to them, thus preventing fabric waste and keeping products and material in use longer. These are the first and second principles of circular economy.

Learning from the waste audit we did a few months prior, we set up a booth on the busiest plaza on campus in front of the AMS nest in order to reach as many people as we could. Prior to the event, we asked people to bring their old shirts, tote bags, pants, hats, or anything they want to “tattoo”. We also provided some fabrics for a toonie, which were donated to us by FabCycle, a Vancouver based organisation that diverts textile waste from landfills by collecting scraps from factories.

We hoped to inspire and empower people with knowledge and tools to upcycle the waste around them into better things.  The entirely DIY silk screening process is a perfect way of promoting our “Recycle by Hand” tagline. Through this event, we learned about different opportunities and possibilities for silkscreening; for instance, our friend Sean silkscreened his Macbook and the fabric paint we used adhered like a stencil.

We had some leftover fabric from the silkscreen event, which we transformed into reusable wrappers using melted beeswax. We experimented with non-toxic crayons, a very common waste for kindergartens because they are typically thrown out when they get too short to use.

Lateral Growth: Silk screening with Casa Congo

All proceeds from this event went to building a formal recycling, compost and waste management centre in Nicaragua in partnership with Casa Congo, a sustainable development movement in Astillero, Nicaragua. We were able to recreate the silkscreening event together with the community in Astillero when we visited in the Summer of 2017. The process is easy to understand, fast, and tolerant to errors. Everyone – especially the kids – were excited. As soon as they learned how silk screening works, everyone left with their bikes and came back with bundles of clothes. The local surf school’s instructor had just had a baby, and was overjoyed when he silkscreened his baby’s onesies with his surf club’s logo. We loved this, because if we had just brought t-shirts he could have never made these one of-a-kind little onesies.

The silkscreen shirts and wrappers were one of the first projects MELT undertook that used materials other than plastic. As we grew in size and connections, we continued to experiment with new materials.