Student uses photos to highlight plastic pollution and unsustainable fashion

A university student has created a series of photos to highlight plastic pollution and unsustainable fashion.

Siena Mccollin, 24, from Northampton, said the pieces were inspired by her father, an environmental scientist, who “spent years nagging me into becoming more aware of the impact we are having on our environment”.

At first glance, the picture appears to show a portion of fish, chips and mushy piece. But a closer look reveals the fish is a plastic bottle, covered in batter.

The impact initially appears to be of  a plate of fish and chips (Siena Mccollin)
The impact initially appears to be of a plate of fish and chips (Siena Mccollin)

Her other pictures show sardines with plastic googly eyes and a crab with plastic legs.

Siena said: “University hasn’t been easy for me by any stretch — being dyslexic, having two small children and working part-time has affected my work both positively and negatively.

“I try to make all my pieces as colourful as possible because of my kids. With my plastic pollution piece I thought if it could appeal to my children and make them more environmentally aware, it will appeal to other children and help future generations think about their actions.”

Her second collection of photos highlights the impact of unsustainable fashion.

For this, Siena collected clothes from students, family and friends.

She said: “They wanted to get rid of them but couldn’t be bothered to take them to a charity shop so I collected them, used them and sent them to Africa.

Her second set of images highlight unsustainable fashion (Siena Mccollin)

“This project was created to demonstrate the unsustainability of the fashion industry today and how buying into the latest trends has seen tons of out-of-season clothes end up in landfills.

“These images are to highlight this issue and to draw attention to the amount of clothes one woman will own throughout her lifetime. The clothes shown in these images are to represent over 600 dresses and 1,116 tops a single woman will go through between the ages of 18 to 80, of which only a small percentage is recycled.

(Siena Mccollin)
(Siena Mccollin)

“Although in recent years the number of clothes that have been recycled is on the rise, that number is still not sustainable.”

Siena said she had been inundated with messages of support since posting her images online.

She said: “Everyone who has seen my work has commented how bang on trend and topical my piece is and I think I have produced this work just at the right time.”

UniversityWeb editor