Punks and Pollution: Destructive Nature of Capitalist Consumerism

‘Punks and Pollution’ (2018-2019) is a photographic response to the detrimental and possibly irreversible effect climate change and fast fashion is having on the environment, society and people living within that society. This editorial presents an anti-establishment punk attitude and the demonstration of how destructive capitalist consumerism is for the environment and society.

Photographer Phoebe Ball sources domestic materials from the street and through general consumption, combining these with second-hand clothing to create raw DIY looks to photograph on a model, inspired by 1970s punk styling. The styling is particularly exemplified by the industrial history of the North (Leeds), where the majority of the photoshoots took place. This styling response includes aspects such as safety pins, chains, heavy eye makeup and layering of materials such as plastic.

This photographic approach is rationalised by the contradictions that lie within Ball’s photographic practice. Often garments made through the means of fast fashion are made without conscience or care. The materials utilised to make such garments can be damaging for the environment and more often than not exploit individuals in the manufacturing process. Punks and Pollution aims to break these norms by sourcing materials already in Ball’s possession to avoid the habitual overconsumption that our society is now comfortable with. Ball purposefully works on a low budget to highlight capital and consumerism is not necessary when creating fashion-based photography. This links to the anti-establishment attitude and ethos that was paramount in the 1970s punk movement. Ball’s whole project takes elements from various subcultures that originated or developed from punk, such as Techno and Grunge.

Credits:

Models:

Katie Burnside @katieburnside

Hannah Smythe @hannahfsmythe 

Tyler Spencer Pote @prompted_response 

Vainuz @vainuz 

Art Direction & Photography: Phoebe Ball @phoebeball_
Website: www.phoebeball.com

Makeup and Styling for Katie: Katie Burnside @katieburnside

Trent Coat for Vainuz: Alice Brightmore @alicebrightmoredesign (rest is model’s own)

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