British Textile Biennial

The industrial revolution transformed rural East Lancashire into an engine of fast fashion at the epicentre of a web that stretched across the globe; commandeering human and environmental resources across continents in a vicious cycle of labour, manufacture and trade that persists today and which we now know is unsustainable. 

The third edition of the British Textile Biennial (BTB23) traced the routes of fibres and fabrics across continents and centuries to and from the north of England in a series of commissions and exhibitions throughout October in the spaces left behind by the Lancashire textile industry. From the so-called ‘slave cloth’, spun and woven by hand on the Pennine moors, to the bales of used fast fashion that make their way from British high streets to the markets and toxic mountains of waste in West Africa, BTB23 followed that journey.