Cotton is perhaps the world's most well-known fabric, with a tangled, global history of more than 400 years, though many stories behind cotton are less known. These untold, sometimes unexpected perspectives have been collected and brought together in “Knowing Cotton Otherwise”, a new exhibition hosted by Fashion For Good Museum in Amsterdam.

Knowing Cotton Otherwise
Photo: Lorenzo de Wit
Knowing Cotton Otherwise
The exhibition highlights the relationship between cotton and the fashion industry, the role of cotton in an increasingly intertwined web of global cultures, and sustainable innovations driving its circular transformation.





The project was developed by a collective of curators consisting of Musoke Nalwoga and Fashion for Good curators Alyxandra Westwood and Sophie van Duren, with artist Sophie Douale on artistic direction and space design as well as storytelling.The exhibition highlights the relationship between cotton and the fashion industry, the role of cotton in an increasingly intertwined web of global cultures, and sustainable innovations driving its circular transformation.

 



Based on collectivity and community, local artists have been invited to present their work that connects and intersects with different themes relating to the story of cotton and its impact on the planet and people, creating an experience that stimulates both mind and senses.

 



Knowing Cotton Otherwise is presented in different phases, in which the exhibition grows and changes throughout the year. The first phase features artists Benoît Gilles Michel, Caithlin Courtney Chong, Mario Gonsalves, Niño Divino, Noah Cohen, Nsimba Valene and Tasio Bidegain as well as the collectives Osso Archive, Studio Papa and The Gang is Beautiful who all support and contribute to each other’s projects. Innovative solutions tackling some of the challenging aspects of cotton’s production, such as origin and traceability, dyeing and water use, from Fashion for Good Innovators Oritain and Officina39, are also used by the artists in their installations.

 



By mixing styles and stories, Knowing Cotton Otherwise creates a multifaceted experience, inviting visitors to explore and discover cotton otherwise. The exhibit is hosted in a space where visitors are challenged to question the content, examine their ideas, engage together in a process of self-reflection and critical consideration.

Knowing Cotton Otherwise
Photo: Lorenzo de Wit
Knowing Cotton Otherwise
In order to engage visitors some questions are are asked throghout the exhibit like, for instance: Where does cotton come from? How is it grown? What is the future of cotton and the role of innovation? Though also others tied to century-long traditional uses of cotton are mentioned, like: The exhibition also involves with other questions like: What does it feel and sound like when a garment is dipped in indigo dye?

 



The combination of art, design and science creates a colorful and interactive space that allows visitors to explore, absorb and reflect on their experience with public and educational programs where they can further dive into these topics.



 

Knowing Cotton Otherwise opened its doors to the public on October 7, 2022 and will run for a year in the Fashion for Good Museum at Rokin 102 in Amsterdam. Tickets can be purchased online.

 

 




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