your lifetime worth of clothing
Every second, the equivalent of one truckload of clothing goes to landfill around the world, a fact that often goes unnoticed and ignored. That number can feel unimaginable.
Although clothing is part of our everyday lives, the bulk of what we own lies hidden in a space that never sees the light of day; our closets.
The number of new clothes we each buy over our lifetime varies greatly on so many factors including geographic region, gender, socioeconomics and wealth. But we roughly estimated that the average person in the developed world will go through 3,000 items of clothing over the course of their lifetime.
Telling people to “not buy more stuff” is a relatively impossible mission, after all, there’s a 550 billion $ industry telling you to do the opposite. What if we could transform this number into a simple tangible experience: The tallest closet in the world.
As we normally discard clothing over time, our closets are designed to only hold what we currently use; but what if we could make a closet so tall, that somebody could, in a single instant – look up and see what their lifetime of clothing might look like?
The 9m tall immersive installation was created entirely with recycled aluminum, steel and wood, and housed around 3,000 items of donated clothing. In less than 5 days, the entire structure was assembled at the Mall of Arabia in Cairo by an incredible team of volunteers and CanEX Aluminum. With a vision of building a tangible representation of our personal clothing consumption, the ‘Tallest Closet in the World’ encourages the public to take small steps towards reducing the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill.
Our hope for the installation was to provide a space for awareness and interactivity. We built a clothing donation box at the centre of the structure, opening the opportunity to the public of Cairo to take part in extending the life of their preloved wardrobes. Depending on where you live, clothing donations are not always the best course of action. But as of 2018, there are over 220,000 refugees in Egypt, and the need for clothing is imminent. The clothing used for the creation of the installation will be donated to local NGOs supporting refugees, as well as the donations collected throughout its exhibition.
This project was only possible by the incredible collaboration of dozens of people who believed in our crazy project.
These individuals helped us co-design, sift through and hang thousands of clothes for hours on end, dedicating their time and hard work in support of this important message.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers:
Omar Medhat Omaar
Youssef Medhat Omar