Everything you buy is rubbish
Published on April 25, 2014
Everything You Buy Is Rubbish was a collective effort between Billy Turvey, William Gubbins, and Charles Duffy. The shoes are a response to a brief that asks their to communicate issues raised in the book 10 Billion, by Stephen Emmott.
They focused on consumerism and waste as its bi-product, and began trawling the UK shorelines (including the tidal Thames) to find plastic rubbish. They then reconstituted the rubbish to manufacture a consumer product from the product of our consumption.
Everything you buy us rubbish is about the out of sight and out of mind legacy of the modern consumer. Taking the shoe as a prime example: What used to be a hand crafted item made to last and designed to be repairable, now spends an almost insignificant amount of time on the ground doing what it was made for.
As soon as the first component on a modern shoe fails, the pair is often discarded. The mass produced shoe is now essentially disposable. After you’ve finished with them they’re just another (two) piece(s) of rubbish that are likely to still be around long after your own body has decomposed; we’re all leaving behind ourselves a rubbish legacy. With the development of plastics came a utopian promise to change the world, and change the world it has, plastic is has become so materially ingrained in our lives and environment that it’s becoming increasingly indistinguishable and inseparable from nature.
They took this as a starting point and set out to mine this plastic pollution, they collected rubbish from the west and the south coast of England and the banks of the river Thames.
Following this they made a pair of shoes out of the rubbish that all our consumer goods are destined to become. A satirical critique of the legacy we consumers leave in our wake. Far from suggesting they all wear shoes made from rubbish, the project is a talking point around which to stage a conversation about the consumerism game we’re all caught up in.