BSU Confronts Fast Fashion With Art Installation

Walking into the Rondileau Student Union (RSU), you might do a double take. But no, that’s not a pile of dirty laundry (cue residents everywhere running to check their washers). The Aftermath (2021) is a multimedia sculpture that is on loan to BSU until May 17. The huge pile of clothing highlights the impact of textile waste and fast fashion on our climate, something we often forget to consider when browsing for a new look. 

The sculpture is a visual reminder of just how quickly clothing waste piles up, providing facts about fast fashion and suggested methods to advocate. The signage states that each individual piece of clothing in the exhibit represents 30.8 million pounds of waste, for a grand total of 34 billion pounds of textiles that are discarded annually. A documentary detailing the creation process is featured alongside it. 

The Aftermath is the product of the work of several scientists and artists working with The Aftermath Learning Lab out of Boston College.  It was funded by the Boston College (BC) Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society and created from clothing collected from the BC community. 

BSU is only the latest stop of The Aftermath’s tour. According to health researcher Dielle Lundberg’s website (, a collaborator on the project, the exhibit has previously been featured at Boston University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and the ACCelerate Festival at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It’s an especially pertinent reminder for college students when outlets like Shein are more popular than ever and cater to a constantly changing trend cycle. The low prices may be tempting for the student on a budget, but the repercussions for our environment may make you want to think twice.   

Students interested in learning more are in luck. There are more resoures available online, including a free course on textile waste ( and a virtual conference scheduled for April 25. On April 18, The Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice is hosting “The Aftermath of Fast Fashion,” a public panel discussion from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in the Dana Mohler Faria auditorium. Two of the project’s creators will be speaking, developmental psychologist Dr. Julia DeVoy and artist Mark Cooper will be in attendance, along with Dr. Laura Steinberg from the Schiller Institute.  A reception will follow. To learn more, visit  

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