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Textile Crafter Finds a Possible Solution to Ending Fast Fashion Waste

LOS ANGELES, CA - Minga Opazo is a California textile crafter working on a project that could possibly help get rid of fast fashion clothing in our lifetime.

Photo credit: Cynthia Puga

The textile crafter came up with the idea of burying clothing in dirt while growing mushrooms on top. Opazo explained that Oyster mushrooms tend to form something called Mycelium, which is a form of fungal threads. The mycelium then begins to digest the clothing inside the dirt.

"So it's been found that some kind of mushrooms eat plastic and it's been proved but there hasn't been much research done," explained Opazo.

Opazo says she enjoys exploring the relationship between climate change and contemporary textile production. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016, where she received her BFA. In Los Angeles, her work has been shown at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Dab Art CO. gallery, and CalArts.

She is currently collaborating with mycologist Danielle Stevenson. Their goal is to find a solution to the excessive amount of clothing being made by fast fashion stores like Forever 21 and H&M.

CSUN Professor and fungi expert David Bermudes says the oyster mushroom is the best one that could be used for this type of experiment. "The oyster mushroom is in a special kind of category that can degrade things that a lot of other fungi can't," explained Bermudes.

Opazo says she became motivated to find a solution after seeing new clothing piled up in landfills from the fast fashion industry in Chile, her home country. Clothing that isn't sold or is out of season is shipped to other countries from the United States.

Video credit: Cynthia Puga

Video credit: TEDx Talks

By Cynthia Puga

With contributions from Fungal Futures

Photo credit: Cynthia Puga

Video credit: Cynthia Puga, TED talk

Audio credit: Cynthia Puga


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