STREETWARE saved item

is a participatory art project at the interface of art, politics and society. Our material are textiles that are discarded in the public urban space of Berlin: We take them as an opportunity to investigate modes of production and consumption, identity and social habitus..

STREETWARE, Schierkerstraße Berlin, 2021 ©barbara caveng

The team of modern rag pickers, whose members come from the fields of art & design, science, crafts, philosophy and social work, collects, washes and transforms the ‘saved items’ into prêt-à-porter and turns them into social sculpture.

KDindie: STREETshopping during fashion revolution week ©Paolo Gallo
rag pickers Stella Cristofolini and Therry Kornath ©Paolo Gallo

Since January 2020, practical and collaborative activities have served STREETWARE as a starting point for expanding knowledge, whether it is about craft techniques, industrial processes, artistic modes of expression or scientific-philosophical questions.

Visible Mending by Purvi Dhrangaderyia©barbara caveng

STREETWARE seeks to link processes of recycling, reuse and upcycling in a non-linear, multi-layered way with other disciplines that illuminate and approach the issue of sustainability from their perspectives and angles. We work across generations in the area of tension between deprivation and abundance.

Jan Markowsky performing Schurf | Berlin 21 © paolo gallo
Jan Markowsky | fashionweek 22 © paolo gallo

Part and parcel of STREETWARE’s ethical concept of creating sustainable norms is the de-colonialisation of everyday life through visible diversity. STREETWARE creates, produces and experiments and grows its network on a local, regional, national, and international level.
Our work is based on exchange and collaboration with different artistic, social and economic protagonists.

The project was founded in 2020 by interdisciplinary artist barbara caveng and developed in a team with sustainable costume designer Alice Fassina. Since then, the author, theatre man and activist for the rights of people without shelter, Jan Markowsky, the interdisciplinary artist Lotti Seebeck, the philosopher and curator Lukas Treiber, Céline Iffli-Naumann, founder of the label HandMaid with the aim of sustainable, creative recycling of raw materials, Purvi Dhrangadaryia, artist and sustainable fashion designer and dey performer KDindie accompany us in our work. Paolo Gallo follows us photographically wherever we pick the rags, be it city streets or art spaces. The fashion journalist Aïsha Abbadi casts a critical eye on us. In our actions, interventions, exhibitions and performances, we work together with diverse people and a variety of organisations, initiatives and institutions.

CATWALK of social-economic Utopia | 2021, Flugfeld Tempelhof © Paolo Gallo

decolonize, degender, ecologize your style!

What are you looking for? Is it a pair of petrol blue G-Star Raw sweatpants, that little black dress by Dior or one of those Calvin Klein sport bras? Berlin’s most sustainable fashion label STREETWARE saved item offers the largest and most diverse range of fashion brands in town!

The highly desired pieces are no longer waiting on the hangers of boutiques and fashion department stores, they are oozing out of overcrowded clothing containers and the cracks of the city. 1.35 million tonnes of clothing end up in the recycling industry every year. While the seamstresses in Bangladesh produce fast fashion 24 hours a day, the sorters at the recycling plants try to cope with the flood of discarded textiles. Pressed into bales, the ‘colourful mix of Africa’ is waiting to be transported to the global South to be sold as “Mitumba” (second-hand) in Africa. The local markets are destroyed.

In the North, we walk the catwalk of vanity in the shadow of the textile industry and fast fashion. Is there any other way? Can clothing be understood as an egalitarian good that offers protection and aesthetically shapes the appearance of a dignified existence? How can textiles be produced and traded fairly and how can we get rid of colonialism’s new clothes in our wardrobes?

STREETWARE saved item makes fashion sustainable and accessible. For everyone. For all.

congress on the clothes heap: fastfashion second hand africa©Jim Joel Nyakaana

In order to critically examine and practically explore these questions in an artistic research with people from all walks of life, the protagonists of STREETWARE saved item slip into the role of ‘modern rag pickers’: The revolution takes place on the clothes dump and on the street! At our award-winning mobile clothes rack MHLD we invite you to STREET shopping under the motto ‘cruise through the city and find your own unique style. When we roam the streets of the metropolis, we don’t fall for the tempting promise of shop windows or rummage tables in the street. Shopping online with Zalando has long become a thing of the past. Discover tie-neck blouses and tank tops, a baby’s first dress or a pair of oversized baggy jeans in the most urban areas of the city: showcased on the banks of the gutters, nonchalantly draped over bollards – where public and private spheres seamlessly merge into each other.

congress on the clothes heap: – STREETshopping – Purvi Dhrangaderjia

STREETWARE saved item makes fashion sustainable and accessible. For everyone. For all.

Come along as we wheel our way around the place and enjoy the flow that comes with the circular lifestyle. Philosophise with us about the impact of fashion and the global garment industry on individual lives and the environment.

STREETWARE ‘En Plein Air’ – Installation mit 48 Wäscheständern am Kunstfestival 48 Stunden Neukölln ©Paolo Gallo

Our artistic strategies include processes of re- and upcycling, workshops, lectures, interventions, performances and exhibitions to explore questions of sustainability, identity, consumption and production from different perspectives.

We see ourselves as creative contributers to society and caretakers of space. We cooperate with art and cultural institutions, artists and creatives, individuals, educational institutions, environmental initiatives, activists and academics, and since 2021 we have been working with our Uganda-based colleagues Ruth Faith Nalule, fashion designer, Jim Joel Nyakaana, documentary photographer, Kisitu Aloysius Musanyusa, social entrepreneur and Beatrice Lamwaka, journalist/writer in the STREETWARE X MIVUMBA network.

STREETWARE X MIVUMBA , Kampala 2020 |  Ruth Faith Nalule, Eria Mutalwa, Rose Katusabe, Reagan Ahabwe, barbara caveng and photographer Jim Joël Nyakaana ©Jim Joel Nyakaana
Ruth Faith Nalule und Reagan Ahabwe during the fotoshoot of political haute couture ©Jim Joel Nyakaana

What we are pleased about:

STREETWARE saved item was awarded the Recycling Design Prize in the Special Prize category at the Museum Marta Herford in 2022 for the MultifunctionalHybridLaundroDrive MHLD

Marta Herford RecyclingDesignpreis22©Hüffelmann

STREETWARE saved item is the 2nd laureate of the Innovation Award for Sustainability, awarded by the fonds Soziokultur, 2022.

STREETWARE saved item, 2. laureate, Innovation Award for Sustainability ©fonds soziokultur
Alice Fassina | barbara caveng | Paolo Gallo | Jan Markowsky | Aïcha abbadi | Céline Iffli-Naumann | Alyia Iffli | KDindie | Siegfried Dittler | Kurt Eichler

Where do you find us:

Since November 2021 until today, STREETWARE saved item has been set up in the House of Statistics, resp. the House of Materialisation. In its premises, STREETWARE runs a vestitheque that is accessible to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 – 7 pm.
Enjoy borrowing sustainably cleaned clothes of all brands from the Berlin Asphalt! Buying was yesterday, renting is marketing concept of today!
STREETWARE also offers workshops on textile recycling and textile forensics.

Stroll with us on the mobile clothes horse!
Cosy temperature, longer days… It’s time again to stroll through the streets of Berlin along with you on our MHLD (Multifunctional Hybrid Laundro Drive), mobile clothes horse! As rag pickers, we will be looking for worn-out or pre-loved garments, which we will collect, rescue and thus give them a second or even third life.

Each tour lasts about 1.5 hours and can also be requested as a private session. You will be informed about the dates of the public tours on our social media channels. Depending on your own assessment, we ask for a donation between 5 and 50€ per Person.

Walk with us and pimp your wardrobe mit STREETWARE, the most sustainable fashion brand of Berlin!
for registratiion or inquieries contact:

Vestitheque atHdM, Haus der Materialisierung, Berlin
Borrow some!

Find out more about us on our website : STREETWARE saved item