Time will tell…

The rise of fast fashion has eroded the value of what we wear. But clothing remains in many ways a valuable product. The ‘Time will tell…’ project keeps this fresh in our mind.

What makes clothing a disposable product?

One of the reasons is that clothing costs next to nothing these days – and it is in almost endless supply. If you cast off a t-shirt that only costs 10 euros – who cares! If something goes out of style, we simply buy something else. Some 1.2 million items of clothing are destroyed every year in the Netherlands alone. These are brand new garments that have never been sold, or garments that we have cast off ourselves.

Clothing has become a disposable product, while it is manufactured using valuable resources that are becoming increasingly scarce in this world, such as clean water. Our overcrowded wardrobes bear testimony to millions of hours of work, because clothes are still made by hand. To make a long story short, there really is no reason to treat clothing like a disposable product.

‘Time will tell…’ restores clothing to its true value

‘Time will tell…’ is a project launched by OW to restore the value of clothes that we don’t wear any more. How? By refabricating them into new collections with the help of young, talented fashion designers who have recently graduated from one of the art academies in the Netherlands.

At the same time, the project is an experiment where we explore to what extent the stories behind the garments influence the designers’ creation of new items. And whether consumers will buy an item of clothing or have more appreciation for it because they know its background. Or does a garment remain a product that revolves around nothing more than aesthetics and a comfortable fit?

The designers

Chiron Floris

HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, BA of Arts Fashion Design
Graduated 2018
View Chiron’s work

Karlijn Krijger

Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Fashion Design
Graduated 2017
View Karlijn’s work

Debbie Jellema

HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, BA of Arts Fashion Design
Graduated 2018
View Debbie’s work

Ariëlle van der Vaart

Amsterdam Fashion Institute, BA Fashion and Design
Graduated 2016
View Ariëlle’s work

The sparring partners

Meike Fleskens

Artemis Academy
Designer and stylist at me-ik
Product and textile designer at Manus VR
View Meike’s work

Ilfa Siebenhaar

Willem de Kooning Academy, BA Fashion and Desgin – Social and Sustainability
Freelance sustainable fashion and textile designer
Research project Living Colour (biodesign), together with designer Laura Luchtman
View Living Colour

News updates

Funx radio item about ‘Time will tell…’ with designer Debbie

(Click left on the black bar on ‘play’ or listen to the item on the Website of Funx. In Dutch)


Fashion United publishes article about ‘Time will tell…’

Read here te article. (Dutch)


How does the project work?

OW collected a total of 139 items of clothing from sixteen women and three men, living in and around Amsterdam, and wrote down the stories behind them. During project kick-off on 8 July, the designers were shown all the garments and their stories and then asked to select the items that they wanted to use to create their own mini-collection, based on the overall theme of ‘Time will tell…’.

Taking into account the target group, women roughly between 23-45 years old, the designers get the chance to give the collection their own signature. Each designer will be paired up with a sparring partner, who is also a fashion designer, to take the collection to the next level.

The collection will be launched online and in an exhibition format around autumn this year. After it will be made available for purchase.

What kinds of stories did we uncover?

Jeichina, Haarlem
A beautiful indoor jacket from Manila from the 1980s. She lived and worked in the Philippines with her husband for almost four years. After moving back to the Netherlands – this time with two small children – she never wore it again.

Feride, Amsterdam
A simple but high-quality black jumper. She bought it when she arrived in Amsterdam as an expat. It was not really her style, but she needed something ‘right now’ to keep herself warm during the cold winter in the Netherlands.

Eva, Amsterdam
A leather dress (pleather, actually). This was her go-to dress when going out – always a big hit in Amsterdam’s nightlife. Those were the days. Now it’s too short and not really mum-appropriate.

Why has OW launched this project?

OW wants to help the fashion industry to become more sustainable and aims to accelerate this process by focusing on consumers. We seek to inspire in a knowledgeable manner, challenge and offer alternatives for making more sustainable clothing choices. Our articles are one example, just as our collaborations with stylists, consultants and brands. And our projects: ‘Time will tell…’ is our first.

To make the fashion industry more sustainable and to be able to offer alternatives, we believe it is important to inspire young designers, offer experiences and help them to expand their network. This year’s project shows our commitment, as we give four young designers the opportunity to experiment with sustainable fashion and to create beautiful, signature pieces with the ultimate goal of them actually being worn.

Ultimately, we want to offer an alternative to clothing where no real effort is made to limit the negative impact on people, environment and animals. This means that we always considering clothing’s wearability and feasibility, also in a commercial sense.

Stay up to date?

Subscribe to our heads-up email to receive the latest updates about the project. You will also receive an update from the OW. Platform, but no more than once every two months.

For questions about the project, the OW. Platform and/or press inquiries, contact Nanette on her mobile 06-48610644 or drop an e-mail nanette@ow-ourworld.nl

IMG_7422-small copy

Kick-off project’Time will tell…’. Foto door Theresa Rudzki