Alice Potts on sweat

05.03.21. Internet

Alice Potts is a material researcher, who ‘explores the poetry of the human fluids’. She caused quite a storm when she graduated from the fashion department of the Royal College of Art in 2018 with a collection of crystals grown on various garments – including an extraordinary pair of ballet shoes dyed in red cabbage juice. These crystals were a little different though as they were created from the user’s own sweat.  Unsurprisingly perhaps,  the collection was entitled PERSPIRE and Alice was quickly picked up by some of the fashion world’s biggest names, including Nick Knight and Sarah Mower.

In 2019, she was part of the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 – London’s most influential people and her pieces have been shown everywhere from the Onassis Foundation in Athens to the Philadelphia Museum of Art  in the US, via the V&A in London. A collection of 20 facemasks fashioned from biodegradable plastic – made from food waste sourced from local food markets, butchers and households – as well as a limited edition jewellery collection made in collaboration with MIMCO is currently on show at the NGV Triennial at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

In this episode we talk about: why she should currently be in Australia; making PPE from food waste; the importance of colour; her forgiving housemates; creating jewellery from seaweed; washing less; dealing with extreme personal trauma; accepting being different; and, last but by no means least, her obsession with sweat.

Suffice to say Alice is thoughtful, intelligent and incredibly honest. In other words, she’s the perfect podcast guest. This is an important episode for all sorts of reasons.

(Profile image: Gareth Gardner)

Find out more about Alice Potts

These are the extraordinary ballet shoes that were part of Alice’s original PERSPIRE collection. The crystals are made from the user’s own sweat.

More recently, Alice has been making biodegradable facemasks from food waste. The colour comes from walnuts. 

Colours found in nature are a vital part of Alice’s practice. She has a profound aversion to beige seemingly. (All images courtesy of the designer)