The Last Three Straws

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The Last Three Straws (TL3S) is a self directed project started by myself and a team of two friends. Our mission was to create a sustainable fashion movement on Babson, Olin, and Wellesley campuses. We aimed to teach our peers about the fast fashion industry and what tangible changes they could make to become more conscious about their fashion consumption decisions. Above all, we were interested in collaboratively engaging with our community to bring people together in creative ways.

See more on our instagram .

Key Accomplishments:

  • Awarded the Weissman Foundry Fall Fellowship (Fall 2019)
  • Awarded the Grand Prize out of 8 other fellowship projects (Spring 2020)
  • Invited to speak at MIT's Trashion Show as the intermission guest speakers
  • Invited to present at the annual Babson's Center for Women's Entrupeneurial Leadership (CWEL) Disruption Dinner

We’ve heard from our friends and peers that our messages both through our installations and our conversations with them have encouraged them to think more consciously of the clothes they buy. We’ve loved hearing this from people, because we think it means that our Fellowship has really made an impact on others.

TL3S originally formed for the "Untitled" fashion show. We were passionate about bringing designs to the table that were created from recycled or repurposed materials to showcase how sustainability must be key priority of the fashion world moving forward. We utilized materials such as thrifted jeans, a shower curtain, and cloth from old shirts.

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Pants, Bag, & Shirt

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Cape

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Jean Dress

Link to event description.

In development "Unfinished" collection description:

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The road to this installation involved crowdsourcing and user analysis with many BOW students to ideate, test out sketches of our project ideas, and fine tune concept details. We reached out to industry professionals and interviewed them to gain knowledge about their practice, knowledge, and gain contacts. A short documentary of our process is in the works.

The final design we chose was three installations hung on prominent spaces on Wellesley, Babson, and Olin campuses during Family & Friends weekend for maximum audience participation, to be hung for two weeks. The concept was a clothesline hung, with shirts reading “Where’s your favorite childhood t-shirt now?” with one word on each shirt. By asking this evocative question, we started a conversation about the fate of our old clothes once we stop wearing them. This installation was hugely successful because we were able to both spark conversation with students who saw our clothesline in person and also broader audience online after having our project showcased on Wellesley’s official Instagram, where 2,200 people viewed and shared our story! In addition, we connected with members of the Wellesley board of trustees, who had interacted with our installation. We bought these shirts secondhand, then created a stencil with the laser cutter at the Weissman Foundry to use to paint our words on the shirts. We then laser cut signs for students to read and engage with about "fast fashion fast facts," which were repurposed in the Foundry so they can continue to be resources from which to learn from.

Our second event, called “This to That,” was held at the Foundry, where we helped BOW students make new items, such as scrunchies and tote bags, out of their old clothes. This event had great attendance and we were able to engage with students across the BOW community.

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Clothesline, rehung: Hanging fast fashion out to dry

Spray paint on cotton, rope, wood (c 2019)

This cape is a reworking of The Last Three Straws’ sustainable fashion exhibition displayed on the Babson, Olin, and Wellesley college campuses this fall. The shirts incorporated into the cape are thrifted from a local Goodwill. Additionally, our model carried a sign down the runway, saying, “The average garment is worn 7 times before it's tossed out.” The piece attempts to make people conscious of the lack of sustainability in the fashion industry, by prompting viewers to think about how most of the clothes they buy end up in the trash. We wanted this piece to be shocking, to garner attention and make people think, as we believe art is a powerful medium to create awareness and start the conversation.

This piece was featured in MIT's annual Trashion Show. We were also asked to be show's intermission guest speakers, where we presented a short presentation about our mission and invited the audience to engage with us to collectively build our knowledge base about the fast fashion industry. Our feature in the Trashion Show was also broadcasted on Wellesley’s Instagram to an audience of 2,800+ people.

We partnered with Wellesley’s Office of Sustainability at their annual end-of-the-semester Clothing Swap, where we again promoted sustainable fashion to students, and collected and sorted clothes. We checked in over 200 students, so this event was quite well attended and hoped it brought about a sense of awareness about the wasteful aspects of the fashion industry and empowerwed people to take action with their own wardrobes.