Make America Rational Again

Following the Presidential election of 2016 the Rational Dress Society launched a campaign called Make America Rational Again. The project solicited the donation of used (and emphatically discarded!) Ivanka Trump brand clothing. Armed with these itchy polyester blouses and pencil skirts, we set out to recycle these “garments” into something more rational: 100% post-consumer recycled Special-Edition-JUMPSUIT!! Originally conceived of as a way to deliver on the false promises of President Trump’s campaign mandate to “buy American” and “hire American”, it became clear that this project reached far beyond our immediate political reality. The Rational Dress Society is currently in the production phase of Make America Rational Again (the musical!): a short documentary about the domestic textile recycling & waste industries – a partnership with Haverford College’s Environmental Studies and Chemistry departments.

In phase 1 of M.A.R.A., the Rational Dress Society forged a nationwide network of drop-off centers for the collection of used and emphatically discarded Ivanka Trump brand clothing. In 2017 comrades from around the country took action, rejected tyranny and mailed us their unwanted clothes. These garments have just completed phase 3, marking their transformation into 100% post-consumer recycled textiles!

The Rational Dress Society is pleased to announce that as of February 2020, we are in the final phase of Make America Rational Again – the ultimate transformation of Ivanka Trump brand clothing into Special Edition JUMPSUIT is under way at the RDS Chicago HQ. We began the project with a simple question: how do we recycle post-consumer textiles into new clothing? The resulting journey and forthcoming short documentary reveal the complex myths of so called green-washing. This practice ameliorates consumer concerns about environmental calamity while purposefully neglecting to address the underlying causes of global climate change. Through scientific investigation and historical research, Make America Rational Again (the musical) will aim to shed light on this emerging field of research and production. Clockwise from top: 1) Preparation of a garment swatch for a scanning electron microscope 2) Samples awaiting covering in actual gold for electrification in the SEM 3) Scanning Electron Microscopy imaging of a 100% polyester Ivanka Trump brand blouse 4) Shredded fibers passing through an industrial needle felting machine 5) Manual unraveling of an Ivanka Trump brand blouse.