Fashion designer Tracy Reese recently teamed up with conceptual artist Mel Chin to create a truly inspiring collection named Flint Fit.

The CFDA board member who is originally from Detroit —located about 70 miles south of Flint— was the perfect match for Chin’s larger exhibition. Chin’s All Over the Place exhibition seeks to promote social awareness through art.

Described as a “prototype for action” and in homage to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, Flint Fit was actually created in the afflicted city itself.

Back in fall 2017, Flint residents collected 90,000 empty water bottles over a six week period, and those bottles were transported to textile manufacturer Unifi in Greensboro, NC and then transformed into fabric. Reese then designed the capsule collection which was inspired by water and Flint itself. The actual pieces were then constructed from the recycled plastic fibers at the St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center in Flint. 

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In a press release, Reese said, “For me, the design process always starts with textiles so designing into options that Unifi was able to create from the Flint water bottles was central to the concept.”

Adding, ” I really wanted to showcase the most interesting properties of each fabric. The twill fabric is perfect for rainwear and is perfect as protection from the elements. Its sturdiness and industrial appeal also recall Flint’s manufacturing background.” 

Reese also said, “We dyed polyester jersey a gorgeous watery cerulean color for swimwear which is a cool contrast to the rainwear. The vinyl detailing symbolizes reflection, reflections in water and reflections on the current Flint situation.” 

The Flint Fit collection will be on display at the Chin’s All Over the Place exhibition at Queens Museum in New York City beginning on April 8.

To learn more about how the inspiring collection was made go here.