Black fashion designer Tracy Reese is using her craft as an avenue for activism. Reese teamed up with artist Mel Chin for the creation of Flint Fit; a collection of clothes created from the remnants of water bottles used by residents who were affected by the water crisis in Flint, Teen Vogue reported.
Flint Fit—a capsule collection conceptualized by Reese—was developed in efforts to bring awareness to the fact that the quality of water in Flint is still negatively impacting the daily lives of those who live in the city, the news outlet writes. The state of Michigan reportedly spends $22,000 per day on bottled water for Flint.
To create the garments featured in the collection, nearly 90,000 empty bottles were collected and transformed into fabric by the North Carolina-based company Unifi. Reese says that she wanted each design to tell a story about the strength of Flint residents. “I really wanted to showcase the most interesting properties of each fabric,” said Reese in a statement, according to the news outlet. “The vinyl detailing symbolizes reflection, reflections in water and reflections on the current Flint situation.” She created the pieces at Flint’s St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center which aims to break barriers to education and employment for those affected by abuse and poverty.
The collection will be a part of Chin’s exhibition dubbed All Over the Place which is inspired by socioeconomic systems and injustice. All Over the Place will be on display at the Queen’s Museum in New York City beginning April 8.
Many Black designers have used fashion to spark conversations about injustice in America. Last year, a Black 19-year-old designer and entrepreneur from New Jersey garnered national attention for her socially conscious and politically-provoking clothing line that addressed racism and White supremacy.