GreeningDryCleaning: Inspiring a Greener Future Through the Arts

GreeningDryCleaning: Inspiring a Greener Future Through the Arts

GreeningDryCleaning did precisely what the name suggests. It helped make the dry cleaning industry in Greece greener, one step at a time. And to that end, the engagement of artists was a crucial step in the process.

As in most industries, there are still many obsolete and unsustainable practices being used to this day. Some provide convenience as it is how things have been done for decades. Others still exist due to the lack of alternatives. And that’s exactly what Europe tries to achieve during this programming period with some bold climate targets for the years ahead.

Let’s see how the GreeningDryCleaning project under the programme “Nature and innovative actions 2020”, funded by the “Green Fund”, involved the Cultural and Creative sector in achieving its goals and inspiring a greener future.

GreeningDryCleaning project in a few words

GreeningDryCleaning was an innovative project in the sense that it targeted an often overlooked business sector, that of the dry cleaning industry. The main objective of the project was to reduce the amount of plastic used in a dry cleaning business.

When thinking of dry cleaning, someone does not think of it as being a “dirty” business, as you rarely hear about it in case studies about sustainable business practices. However, dry cleaning is a very sought-after service, generating excessive amounts of trash in the form of plastic bags used to carry clothes. What is worse, most of these plastic bags are not even recyclableTo learn more, you can also watch a short informational video created by the project.

That’s why a project like GreeningDryCleaning is important to create a report about the use of plastic in the industry and to come up with alternative sustainable solutions.

So, what about the artists? How did the project get them involved? Let’s find out.

Inspiring a sustainability shift through the arts

One of the outputs of GreeningDryCleaning was the design and production of 1000 ecological upcycled textile bags to be used by dry cleaning businesses. These textile bags were the project’s suggestion in replacing the old plastic bags as they can be used multiple times and are more eco-friendly.

On February 11-12, 2023, the project held an exhibition in Athens that featured pieces of art created by students of the Athens School of Fine Arts. They were made on the multi-purpose fabric clothes cases, produced in the framework of the GreeningDryCleaning project using the upcycling method while supporting vulnerable citizens.

The techniques used by the artists were different and mixed and included ink, pencil charcoal, digital prints and stamping, vegetable pigments, hair and threads, monotype, linoleum and embossing, acrylics and the use of plastic and metal scrap, product packaging, worn-out old garments, shoe paint, etc.

This original exhibition was aimed at the artists to contribute to the awareness of the business sector in the professional cleaning industry, but also of society at large, of the dramatic effects of the indiscriminate use of single-use plastics and to inspire new changes in consumer and business culture.

You can find more information from the GreenDryCleaning project on their official website: www.greeningdrycleaning.gr/en/home

Here are some photos from the exhibition:

Conclusion

What the GreeningDryCleaning project did clearly shows the potential of the Cultural and Creative sectors in inspiring a much-needed change in our society. Art can create inclusive avenues for transmitting messages to the public and making them better understood. Also, as happened in this case, artists can come up with alternative, more sustainable solutions for everyday objects, like a plastic bag, that consumers will more likely buy, not just because it is more sustainable but also because it is aesthetically beautiful. That example shows that artists DO have an important role to play in this new reality as we transition to a greener future.

Seeing what other projects have achieved inspires us to renew our efforts in providing assistance to young artists to pursue their dreams in the cultural and creative sector and create meaningful and sustainable employment for them. The world needs artists as they are the ones who can imagine a better future and bring it to life for us all.

If you would like to know about our project and what we do, do not hesitate to contact us at https://building-talent.eu/contact/.