Press Release

EVERYTHING MUST GO is a 3-day exhibition with workshops and talks that tells the hidden story of our unwanted clothes.

The exhibition will be open to the public on Friday 20 – Sunday 22 January from 11am – 6pm

Oxo Tower Wharf
Bargehouse Street
South Bank
London SE1 9PH

Contact for press and further information: Joby Williams (


‘A long chain of charity and commerce binds the world’s richest and poorest people in an accidental intimacy. It’s a curious feature of the global age that hardly anybody at either end knows it.’
George Packer, New York Times magazine, March 2002

Western consumers want to believe that they can have a new coat every winter and do  a  good deed by donating clothes to needy recipients in the developing world through the simple discourse of charity recycling. The reality is, of course, more complex and more murky than many would suspect.

Dr Lucy Norris (UCL Anthropologist) has spent the last five years researching textile recycling as part of Waste of the World, an academic research project investigating global flows of waste including textiles, food, ships and nuclear energy.

For the end-of-project event, Waste of the World has collaborated with a group of artists and designers to present a public exhibition that tells the textile story. The exhibition is co-curated by Dr Lucy Norris and artist Clare Patey, and produced by arts organisation Holy Mountain.

Visitors are invited to bring an unwanted item of clothing and to follow its journey as it is sold for reuse and recycling across the world. Invisible global waste economies are brought into public view, as do the people involved and the impact that these businesses have upon their lives.

Says Dr Lucy Norris, “The research challenges our comfortable notion that our waste can be contained, cleaned and endlessly recycled and reclaims waste as a filthy, powerful and potentially dangerous material flow that has to be reckoned with.”

Accompanying the exhibition is a programme of talks ‘TALKING RUBBISH’ where researchers, designers, filmmakers, business entrepreneurs and third sector leaders engage with the issues raised and their implications for the way in which we think about our old clothing as well as wider issues around waste and recycling.

In her research in Panipat, India, Dr Norris has found poor labour conditions, low wages, and extremely low- quality products. Often made from potentially reusable Western clothing, its value has been destroyed through shredding because markets cannot be found for the amount of used clothing now in circulation.

The show contextualises this research with collaborative projects including Meghna Gupta’s debut film Unravel and photographs by  Tim Mitchell, both focussing on  the shoddy industry in Panipat, north India. Lizzie Harrison of Remade in Leeds will host workshops on  upcycling old clothing and rug-making from scraps, and a piece of textile designer Kate Goldsworthy’s resurfaced shoddy textile will be on display. The show also highlights Oxfam’s innovative ‘Frip Ethique’ social enterprise in Senegal, which sorts unsold clothing from the charity’s UK shops for sale in the local market, creating livelihoods and raising vital funds for its work in West Africa.”

Everything Must Go marks a return to Bargehouse for Clare Patey, formerly artistic director of The Museum Of, a highly innovative and collaborative museum project that took place in the same building from 1998 to 2001.


Waste of the World

This exhibition marks the culmination of the five-year Waste of The World research project, funded by  the ESRC under their Large Grant Scheme. This investigated global flows of waste, including local waste management, food waste, the second-hand clothing trade, steel and nuclear industries and ship-breaking. Led by  Professor Nicky Gregson, the project was a collaboration between anthropologists and geographers at the University of Sheffield, Durham University, UCL and Goldsmiths

Talking Rubbish

On Saturday 21st January a series of talks will discuss key themes in the exhibition in their wider context.

Impacts overseas (am):

Sarah Farquhar (Oxfam) will talk about their innovative project, Frip Ethique, in Senegal. Julie Botticello (UCL) conveys her experiences of working in a London sorting factory, and Andrew Brooks (Geography, King’s College London) will discuss his research into reuse markets in Mozambique. Lucy Norris (UCL) goes into details of her work in India followed by  a Q&A  session with filmmaker Megna Gupta and an open discussion.

New business models (pm)

Cyndi Rhoades (CEO, Worn Again) will talk about closed loop corporate recycling and her vision for developing new business models with retailers. Lizzie Harrison (Remade in Leeds) will discuss her entrepreneurial business that recycles textiles within a postcode and teaches sewing skills to local residents.

Jade Whitson-Smith researches the potential for design methodologies to extend consumer engagement with clothing, while Kate Goldsworthy discusses design for recycling.

Further details will be posted on and

Clare Patey

Clare Patey is an artist and curator. Her work creates social spaces in the public realm that bring people together in conversation. Commissions include; the London International Festival of Theatre, The Countryside Commission, Friends of the Earth, Channel4 (winner of RTS award for Human Footprint), the New Economics Foundation, the South Bank Centre, The National Theatre, Home Live Art, and the Art Museum, Phoenix. She was the director of The Museum Of in the Bargehouse and is the annual curator of Feast on  the Bridge for the Thames Festival.

Lucy Norris

Lucy is an anthropologist (UCL) who has been researching textile recycling in India over a number of years. She is the author of Recycling Indian Clothing: Global contexts of reuse and value (2010), and a website detailing her collaborative research is currently under development.

Brighten the Corners

Information graphics by  London/Stuttgart based design studio Brighten the Corners (Billy Kiosoglou and Frank Philippin).

Tim Mitchell

Photographer Tim Mitchell travelled to India with Dr Lucy Norris, documenting textile recycling in Panipat and secondhand markets in Delhi. As well as still images Tim has created time-lapse of a ship being dis-assembled for recycling over 15  months. This is also featured in the exhibition.

Lizzie Harrison

Lizzie runs Remade in Leeds, a sustainable fashion boutique offering workshops, events and clothing collections. She organises workshops, events and sales increasing awareness of how clothing is made and how it can be remade.

Kate Goldsworthy

Kate Goldsworthy is Course Director of MA  Textile Futures and Senior Research fellow at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art &  Design. Kate’s doctoral research explores technological tools for sustainability in the textile industry, and design for recycling.

Download press release as a PDF