Up-cycling brings a fashion result that would impress Lady Gaga

May 18, 2015

Desal membrane and fashion outfit made of membranes small

Left: Rosy Chalken's creation made from desal membranes. Right: A desalination membrane.

The Manager of the Desal Discovery Centre at the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia has thought outside-the-square to solve the problem of spent desalination membranes ending up in landfill, with striking results.

Warren Hays put on his creative thinking-cap when trying to recycle the membranes which are used to filter salt and minerals out of water.

Thinking that the multiple layers found in a reverse osmosis membrane could be used as a fabric and decoration for clothing and accessories, he approached the City of Mandurah’s Stretch Arts Festival to see if they would be interested in asking designers to create garments made of membranes.

“I was convinced that utlising the membrane components would provide designers with the opportunity to manipulate novel materials, challenge their concepts of what is wearable while at the same time raising their environmental consciousness,” Mr Hays said.

A couple of local artists enthusiastically rose to the challenge to explore the possibilities of creating fashion art from the spent membranes with striking results.

Rosy Chalken’s white ‘Lady Gaga-esque’ ensemble comprising of a dress, shoes, gloves and an elaborate headpiece was designed to fit the theme of 'Fabrication' and was inspired by her fascination with St. Basil's Cathedral in Russia.

“I challenged myself to use all the components of the membrane to create my piece and was amazed at their versatility,” Rosy said.

Jo Ireland created a blue dress with matching shoes and headpiece to tell a story of oceanic water passing through many layers, emerging into crystal clean and sparkling, salt-free water. She added beach sand, shells, seaweed and salt to embellish the outfit.

Both pieces are on loan to the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia and will be displayed at various water and desalination events in the coming months.

The National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia is located at Murdoch’s Rockingham campus.

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Media contact: Hayley Mayne
Tel: (08) 9360 2491  |  Mobile: 0400 297 221  |  Email: h.mayne@murdoch.edu.au
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Comments (One response)

Anne May 26, 2015

Fantastic idea. Hopefully next year we will see a Sculpture by the Sea on the Rockingham foreshore utilising recycling from the Centre.

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