Repurposing in Textiles Domain: a Case Study of Two Female Designers in South-South Nigeria

Johnson Efiong Ekanem


Repurposing, recycling, up-cycling, reuse and the like, are currently noticed in academic research in higher institutions of learning in Nigeria. This tendency has been triggered by the global trend of conservation of natural resources and efforts at waste management. In Nigeria however, the terms recycling and repurposing have been used interchangeably, especially by scholars, without proper consideration of the variation in meaning and practice. This paper has the objectives of presenting and analyzing the repurposing efforts of two female textile design graduates in south-south Nigeria. It also seeks to put into proper perspective, the many similar terms used alongside repurposing by researchers in Nigeria. The paper uses the critical analysis research design and approach. It benefits from library and internet research, and the unpublished project reports of the two designers of interest. It has been discovered that repurposing in the textiles field has gone beyond the singular reuse of textile materials. Other non-textile wastes are being repurposed alongside, to create ‘new’ and useful items. This paper encourages the trend, especially in academic researches and also challenges professional artist-designers to explore more in the reuse of diverse waste to create weath. This attitude will, by extension provide jobs for the numerous unemployed graduates and other youths in Nigeria.

Keywords: Repurposing, Textile, Case-study, Female, Designers, South-south, Nigeria

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