Weaving Out Waste

Following the success of Single Use Planet (2023) and A Place to Call Home (2022), Weaving out Waste is Wandsworth’s third collaborative art project for Wandsworth Primary Schools, facilitated by Wandsworth Council and the Royal College of Art, and led by artist Caroline Lauvetz.

Video by Keepsake Videos

Reclaiming fabrics to weave a textile river

During February and March 2024, children in years 4 & 5 from up to 40 primary schools created artworks exploring the impact of textile waste on the planet. Following artist-led teacher training, each class created a woven piece for a collaborative exhibition which opened to the public during April and May 2024, alongside a programme of creative workshops for visitors.

The project’s inspiration was drawn from Wandsworth’s rich history of textile manufacturing along the Wandle River. Each pupil practiced weaving techniques on Wandsworth-sourced reclaimed fabrics to create their individual and unique piece of cloth. Across the borough, each participating pupil’s upcycled, woven cloth was joined together to create a textile river. Our pupil-built river flowed through the exhibition space in Wandsworth’s Southside Shopping Centre, referencing the Wandle’s historic textile manufacturing and today’s polluted rivers worldwide.

Photos by Heather Sibly

Through the project pupils learned about the life cycle of a garment to understand the environmental impact of the current industrial systems in the fashion industry and discover sustainable methods of consuming and manufacturing clothing. As well as this environmental education, pupils developed their creative skills such as drawing, sketching, cutting, weaving, and creating patterns with colours.

Photos by Heather Sibly


Image of artist Caroline Lauvetz

Artist Caroline Lauvetz was born and raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.A. Now graduating from the Royal College of Art (RCA) with her Masters in Fashion Design (Knitwear), Caroline has decided to remain in London, feeling that there is still so much left of this city to be explored. Through her time at the RCA, she has developed into a multidisciplinary artist exploring the commodification of nature and building systems of circularity within the fashion industry. Caroline believes that we are all co-heirs to this earth, and as such, we must all do our part.

Beginning the project Caroline said, ‘When exploring topics of textile waste and circular systems of fashion, the narrative can often seem quite daunting and impossible. This project will navigate these heavy topics in an engaging and optimistic way. We will explore how our individual and communal impact can lead to a happier, healthier environment; this won’t be just a tale of caution, but a tale of courage, commitment, and community!’

Wandsworth Council has created an environment and sustainability strategy that includes an action plan to tackle climate change in the borough. Find out more about our ambitions to become a Carbon Neutral Council by 2030, a Net Zero Borough by 2043 and how you can get involved here: Climate change – Wandsworth Borough Council