Date: 2000 – ongoing
Principal Investigator: Becky Earley
Funded by: A wide variety of sources, see ‘credits’ on project website
Top 100 began ten years ago as a personal project that was a creative antidote to the demands of both the researcher’s design label – B.Earley - and the researcher’s teaching post at Chelsea College of Art and Design. It currently serves as a vehicle for practice-based textiles exploration, which is concerned with testing contemporary eco-design theories. Over the years what began as a personal textiles recycling project, has become an experimental and collaborative textiles upcycling research project.
Dividing the 100 shirts into a series of chapters has been a constructive way to explore different narratives and concepts. It has meant that there has been time for reflection, by working slowly through ideas and layering many inter-connected strategies and theories. There are currently nine chapter / collections, and they can all be viewed at the project’s website.
In time the project will draw to completion and the researcher intends to publish and exhibit the final outcomes – all 100 shirts. Before then the aim is to develop more commercially viable prototypes, possibly working with a manufacturing / retail partner. Eventually the project may make up an entire work, as a solo exhibition, with a catalogue / book that proposes the research as strategies for other designers to adopt and adapt.