By Jack Williams
In what has been dubbed the ‘World’s Tallest Closet’, a group of conservationists have brought together a lifetime of clothes for the average person – all in one place.
The giant eye-catching structure was the brainchild of filmmaker Ben Von Wong and his friend, Laura Francois, and it is currently packed with 3,000 items, the average number of clothes someone in the developed world will go through in a lifetime.
Ben and Laura’s mammoth 27-foot structure was erected in the Mall of Arabia, Cairo, Egypt, this month as a way of bringing attention to the the world’s fast-fashion approach.
In total, the closet – which has been submitted for a world record – required 6000kg of steel and 180 meters of wire to create.
Ben, 32, who is based in San Francisco, California, said: “The reactions when people travel through the installation is a lot stronger than to the photos.
“It’s really hard to understand the scale of the closet unless you get the opportunity to walk through it yourself.
“We wanted the installation to be more than just a pretty piece of art.
“We wanted it to become a space which could also be used to generate tangible action and to encourage individuals to think locally.”
By setting up the installation in Egypt – where there are more than 220,000 refugees – Ben and Laura hope the structure can provide an opportunity to collect clothing for those in need.
Sustainability was at the forefront of creating the closet itself: the steel was borrowed from an aluminium manufacturer, and additional parts of the structure were made from recycled wood and loading pallets.
In order to assemble the closet, the pair brought in the help of students from Fayoum University, who collected clothing for the structure.
Ben said piecing together the closet required five 20-hour days of work.
He added: “The advertising industry is a 550 billion dollar industry – of course it’ll be an uphill battle to convince people to buy less, but with Christmas around the corner, we hope that the installation serves as a small reminder that we buy a lot more than we need.”