Alicia Minnaard

ALICIA MINNAARD is a researcher and designer of textile and fashion, currently based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Her practice crosses international borders to fully grasp the tangled perceptions, processes and systems that shape the present-day fashion industry. She questions the industry, its abundance of (post)consumer waste, the challenges of local vs industrial production as well as traces of post-colonialism in the capitalism fueled fast-fashion domain.

Minnaard graduated from the renowned ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Her graduation collection Noeskwam: A Model for a Qualitative Society depicted a garbage patch floating in the middle of the ocean. Its residents have claimed the ‘island’ to create their own Utopia. This new society shows the importance of playful elements in everyday life – an approach inspired by the theory of the Homo Ludens (the playing human) by Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga. Their only resource: the waste and plastic that washes ashore.

In the years after her graduation, Minnaard continued her research into a more sustainable proposition for the world of fashion. Not only in a speculative manner but very much rooted in reality, her outlook is always characterized by a positive outlook on issues of the present. “I question not only our society but also our existence in fictional worlds I create. The collections I make, become a wearable story itself on how we could live our lives. Whoever will wear it shall continue the story by use and play. I work with materials that are seen as garbage, but I would like to see it as a luxury.

Over the last couple of years – in addition to her practice – Minnaard has closely worked with Precious Plastic, an open-source hardware plastic recycling project. The initiative founded by Dave Hakkens is pushed forward by a worldwide community of like-minded creatives. The collaboration with both Hakkens as well as the Precious Plastic community led her to her next adventure, the soon to be launched platform Fixing Fashion. An open-source, educational platform that connects repairpeople, upcyclers and clothing wearers from all over the world.

Image credits:

Header images:
Fixing Fashion
Photography: Louisa Stickelbruck
Styling: Danny Chambers 

Bottom row images:
Absurdly Excessive Fieldwork 2020, organized by The OR Foundation
Photos were taken by Paul Dufour, Danny Chambers, Alicia Minnaard and more participants of the field trip