Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ellie Mucke: Musing on a sustainable practice

My appreciation of the handmade stems from a childhood of macramé wall hangings, patchwork quilts and handmade mud bricks.  My love of design was instilled later, studying Fashion Design at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  A passion for people and the environment in which they live is something, for me, that just is and always will be.

In 2007 I established the brand MüCKE, a womans clothing and accessories label creating everything from re-used garments.  It was this love of design and a passion for a more sustainable future that inspired me to launch the label.  Old clothing is collected, un-picked, draped, re-cut and restitched daily, in my East Brunswick studio.  Each piece is created as part of an ‘on-going’ collection, whereby the fabrics are forever changing, but the styles vary only every six months to two years.

Image by Tobias Titz: MüCKE, Waste-tee earrings, 2010. Reclaimed cotton/ elastane T-shirt scraps and sterling silver wire.

I am a 'collector' at heart, so by the pure natural order of things, the waste I create from cutting new styles, is collated and stored ready for a new use later down the track.  Evidence of this can be seen in the 'Waste-tee' collection, of earrings and necklaces made from the reclaimed scraps of t-shirts used for another of my accessories lines.

Image: MüCKE, ForwardsbackwardsTOP,(Front) 2011 Reclaimed mens shirt and ladies shirt. Shoes by Phong Chi Lai Handcraft

Image: MüCKE, ForwardsbackwardsTOP,(Back) 2011. Reclaimed mens shirt and ladies shirt. Shoes by Phong Chi Lai Handcraft
Combined with my efforts to do less harm in the manufacturing process, is my passion for interactive design application. Workshops, exhibitions and teaching are examples of this.  Consolidated in the MüCKE collections I purposely fuse wit with style and invite the wearer to engage more with the individual pieces. The engagement process is a significant part of my design practice, as I believe so many of our social and environmental problems stem from limitations of mind.

Image: MüCKE, Long HalfSKIRT and Short HalfSKIRT with ButtonvestCARDI #2, 2011. Two reclaimed mens shirts and reclaimed mens cardigan. Shoes by Phong Chi Lai Handcraft

Image: MüCKE, IntersectionTOP, 2011. Two reclaimed mens shirts.  Shoes by Phong Chi Lai Handcraft

My latest collection to be continued… explores this idea.   Skirts sold by the half, and tops split down the middle with the capability of being worn in three ways explores the idea that clothing does not have to be consumed the way we are all used to.  Select pieces are now available from Blondies, Melbourne and Strelitzia, Sydney.

Ellie Mucke website
Ellie Mucke blog
Wear it Blog 
Blondies website 
Steliitzia website
Ellie Mücke, Textiles longevity, interview

Sustainability stories link
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