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Poly Styrene tribute and recycled plastic fashion clothes and jewellery idea

Updated on October 11, 2014

Punk singer Poly Styrene

Poly Styrene was a singer-songwriter who fronted the short-lived but very successful punk band X-Ray Spex. With her pioneering attitude towards the music industry and very distinctive style of performance and writing Poly Styrene became an icon of the Punk Rock and New Wave era. 

Tragically though Poly Styrene died young at the age of just 53 on 25 April, 2011, after suffering from cancer. She was famous for speaking out in her lyrics and actions against what she saw as wrong in the world but often in a humorous way. Her flamboyant DayGlo dress-sense made her unconventional and appealing at the same time. Songs like "Oh Bondage, Up Yours", "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo", "Germ Free Adolescents", and "Highly Inflammable" were statements against the consumerist, capitalist modern world.

Plastic Bag by X-Ray Spex

Poly Styrene photo

Poly Styrene
Poly Styrene | Source

A tribute to Poly Styrene and David de Rothschild

Further to my work in supporting environmentalist and adventurer David de Rothschild and his campaign to draw the world's attention to the dangers of pollution of the oceans from plastic, I have come up with an idea that will help this cause further. I think that it would get a lot of public attention if clothing and jewellery were made from discarded plastic and items made could carry slogans such as "Refuse plastic and save Turtles!" Or "6 bits of plastic to 1 of Plankton?"

Cynthia de Moss

My good friends Cynthia De Moss of Duke and Dutchess Creations and Faylinn, who is the designer and artist behind Madame Mazuni designs, would help me get this project really happening. At time of writing this, we are all "buzzing" with creative ideas.

The whole project could be focused as a tribute too to Poly Styrene. Her songs and videos of her performances could be combined with a public exhibition or event to display the clothes and designs we have come up with using recycled plastic.

Plastic Bag

Poly Styrene has a song entitled Plastic Bag that fits with the theme of it all too. She was commenting on how the world is being destroyed and manipulated by consumerism and capitalism in a plastic world. We would be seeking solutions to a big problem the world faces, namely that of the waste of our finite resources and the destruction of the environment and its wildlife.

David de Rothschild

As David de Rothschild has shown, plastic can be recycled and reused to make incredibly useful things we need. In his case he had a boat made up of 12,550 plastic bottles designed and created and named The Plastiki. Aboard this pioneering craft, he and his crew voyaged across the Pacific Ocean last year making news headlines and showing what can be done.

At the same time The Plastiki called the world's attention to the plastic that is filling our oceans with poisonous trash, killing millions of sea-birds and animals each year and entering the food chain.

The solution to the problem of plastic pollution is to reduce our use of the material, to refuse it as much as possible, to recycle as much as we can, and to rethink how we use it! Creating innovative and fashionable clothing made from plastic is an example of recycling, reusing and rethinking what we can do with the material.

Poly Styrene & X-Ray Spex - World Turned Dayglo


The new musical and fashion genre of Steampunk could be combined with designs for clothing and jewellery made from recycled plastic too. Steampunk combines elements of a Victorian very high-class and romantic look along with modern kitsch and sci-fi images as well as with elements of the Punk Rock and New Wave era.

Recycled plastic would work well in Steampunk fashions and often has bright colours that catch the eye and draw attention to the messages we are aiming to convey with our art and designs.

It is possible that big exhibitions could be staged in several parts of the world and that we could then get the media's attention and coverage of our shows.

© 2011 Steve Andrews


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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your comments, Michael! I am glad you found my hub of interest!

    • michael ely profile image

      michael ely 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      Really great article and ideas here Bard of Ely. I remember Poly Styrene as a singer in the late 70's and this was the first i had heard of her death. Sad news.


    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      You are welcome! Thanks for posting!

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 

      8 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      At art college when Punk was born but seemed to have missed Poly. Will have to investigate this steampunk further too. Many thanks for doing the ground work.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Earth Angel! btw I told David de Rothschild and he sent me this tweet back: "Ha! Sounds fun... Just been hanging with folks who make plastic jewellry check out my tweet on it yesterday... Cool stuff!"

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      8 years ago

      GREAT Ideas Bard Steve!

      I'm with you guys 1,000,000,000%! The technology to recycle so much plastic already exists, it's our mind-set that needs updating!

      And I happen to know a Bard of Ely that can make a huge positive difference in that direction!

      You have the platform Steve, I know you will use it well!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your feedback, Cardisa! Many people already wear plastic. I know I do because I have a plastic watchstrap, plastic in my flip flops and plastic frames for my glasses. I would love to say these items are all made from recyclable and recycled plastic!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      8 years ago from Jamaica

      Your idea is good, however,I wouldn't wear anything plastic, I have an aversion to synthetic stuff. I never heard of Poly Styrene before. Thanks for the info.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Paradise7!

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Great ideas for recycling this stuff which is lethal to our oceans! I'm so much in favor I can't even express it well.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Excellent news and very true! Thanks for your comments, Pamela!

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      I knit bags from plastic shopping bags. The more we reuse waste the less we have in the landfills.

      I saw a story of a woman that made her daughter's prom dress out of Starburst candy wrappers. It was cute.


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