Written by Natalie Rigby of O’Blue Thrashion
|A lot of people, when they think of the word recycling and its history, often refer back to the Make Do and Mend ethos that emerged during the Second World War. This of course influences all sub-cultures of recycling and none more so than the Punk movement.
The Punk movement which was pioneered by Malcolm Maclaren and classic British Punk band the Sex Pistols were central to this DIY ethic that not only encompassed the style of music but also influenced fashion through to today.
In 1976 Malcolm Maclaren and his then girlfriend Vivienne Westwood changed the name of their clothes shop in Kings Road to ‘SEX’. This innovative shop sold all manner of clothing never seen before in society: parachute shirts, bondage trousers and PVC wear being just some of the delights on offer. Not only did it offer clothes for young people looking to rebel against the doldrums of their mundane existence but also offered somewhere to hang out with like minded individuals.
Teenagers of the time started to experiment with their clothes, incorporating the make do and mend ideology. They were embracing their tired and worn garments and re-creating them into something more exciting which expressed something more about their personality. Vivienne Westwood, credits Johnny Rotten as the first British punk to rip his shirt, and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious as the first to use safety pins. Siouxsie Sioux famously wore bin bags and safety pins as earrings.
In art, the Situationist-influenced graphics of Sex Pistols artist Jamie Reid embraced anarchist imagery mainly for its shock and with a tongue in cheek undertone. Iconic images were collaged over the top with newspaper print ransom style ripped letters. Also at this point a new style of Comic art was emerging embracing the anti hero. A whole new breed of imagery was emerging through art, clothing, style and music.
This recycled ethic had formed the undertone of the last few decades with it gaining in popularity throughout the last decade. Artists and crafters have been turning their attentions towards their materials with an emphasis on eco-friendly. Recycling and upcycling have become buzzwords across the handmade community.
The way that the punk era influences today’s artists and crafters is in the materials being transformed, and the witty and anarchistic message that each artwork or objects offers. This tongue in cheek and very british attitude towards art and crafts can be seen across folksy by just searching with the keyword recycled:
Images: A selection of items available at Folksy.com tagged with the keyword Recycled
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