Everything You Buy is Rubbish

With the development of plastic came a utopian promise: This revolutionary material would change the world. It has, and it’s now become so materially ingrained into our lives and environment that it’s becoming increasingly indistinguishable and inseparable from nature.

We project an image of ourselves through what we wear. The first pieces of our clothing to show damage is usually our footwear. No longer made to last or designed to be repairable, in the eyes of the consumer, a superficial blemish or a shift in the latest trend is all that’s needed to warrant a new purchase. Contemporary footwear spends a tiny fraction of its lifespan hugging a foot, today’s mass produced shoes are essentially disposable. For the majority of their existence your shoes will be unwanted waste; after you've finished with them they're just another (two) piece(s) of rubbish that are likely to still be around long after your own corpse has decomposed; your own rubbish legacy.

Project Context

The brief, as set by Stephen Emmott, was to communicate an aspect from his book Ten Billion.

The shoes were exhibited in an exhibition of Ecological art in Barcelona, at the end of 2014. The project has gained media attention around the world, in print in the US magazine Design Bureau, and on over 250 different online articles and blogs including Mail Online, design milk, and Gizmodo, amongst others attracting over 1.8 million Page loads.