WASTE NOT, WANT NOT: The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum will keep its fashion connections going this fall when “Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse” opens on Sept. 23.

The sustainability-focused “Scraps” exhibition will feature work by Luisa Cevese, founder of Milan-based design studio Riedizioni; Christina Kim, founder of Los Angeles-based brand Dosa, and Reiko Sudo, cofounder of Toyko textile design firm Nuno. Despite their different continents, each of these designers shares a common bond — specializing in upcycling cast-offs and scraps into their respective creations.

The museum’s director Caroline Baumann said, “‘Scraps’ brings critical focus to the human and environmental costs of fashion consumption while also offering viable solutions for reducing waste and raising awareness.”

Striving to spotlight design ingenuity, “Scraps” will feature more than 40 works to draw attention to such sustainability issues as the efficient use of materials and resources, the preservation of local craft traditions and new technologies in the recycling process. Items on display will include Cevese’s tabletop accessories and handbags refashioned from salvaged silk scraps, Kim’s appliquéd panels produced from recycled jamdani saris and Sudo’s various interpretations of fabrics woven from kibiso, a made fiber from discarded parts of the silk cocoon.

An even greater variety of design will be the focal point, when “By the People: Designing a Better America,” the third exhibition in a series about socially responsible design, bows Sept. 30 at the Cooper Hewitt. More than 60 design projects from an array of U.S. cities and towns will explore how they aim to expand access to education, food, health care and affordable housing; increase social and economic inclusion; offer better alternative transportation options, and create a balanced approach to land use. Artist Cassim Shepard is creating a video for visitors and Rebel Nell founder Amy Peterson will visit the museum as one of the scheduled special events tied to the exhibition.

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