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The Secret Life of Clothes

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The Secret Life of Clothes

Secret Life of Clothes Exhibit details 

The Secret Life of Clothes
November 5, 2021 – November 27, 2022

With over 8 billion people on Earth, one of the common threads that humans share is wearing clothes as a basic necessity for protection and also a means of self-expression. But when we think about clothing, it’s usually in connection to fashion and how and where the person is wearing their clothing, more often than not, outside of the home and irrespective of the origins of the very fabric the item is made of. While clothing began as a basic necessity to individuals who had a very intimate connection to the laborious process of its creation, care and storage, in more modern days, it has evolved into a highly accessible, but easily detached from and disposed of, means of societal expression.

The Secret Life of Clothes tells the everyday story of the “lifecycle” of clothes – the overlooked journey of clothing as a progression from fiber to finished garment, sale to storage, and finally to mending, disposal or reuse. This exhibit examines the purpose and need for different clothes, as well as the lifecycle processes over different time periods in Colorado: 1860 through modern day. Visitors will experience a variety of fashions, as well as the tools, materials, and context of how those clothes were made, worn, cared for, mended, and stored.

The exhibit also explores the future of clothing, considering the economic, cultural, and environmental impacts of the massive growth of the fast-fashion clothing industry and how, in response, new innovations are leading the way towards a more sustainable clothing lifecycle for future generations.

The Secret Life of Clothes opens on Friday, November 5, 2021, and runs through Sunday, November 27, 2022.

Exhibit Events


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Open House
Saturday, November 6, 2021
2 - 5 pm

The Secret Life of Clothes tells the story of the lifecycle of clothes, from fiber to finished garment, then sale, storage, mending, disposal, and reuse, focused on 1860 - 1910, and the modern day. 

- Become a life-sized paper doll with outfits from the 1800s
- Hear from textile experts
- Be one of the first to see the new exhibit
- Visit the touch cart to feel raw and finished materials
- Learn to weave on a community art project, and be credited as a Contributing Artist!

All ages welcome. Free and open to the public.

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