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Recycled milkjugs, tinfoil, candy wrappers make fashion statement

April 4th, 2012 Posted in Arts and Life

Story & Photos by Kristi Ottley

LOGAN—Candy wrappers, newspapers, plastic bags, aluminum cans, milk jugs and soda straws. USU Family and Consumer Science Education students redefined recycling as they showed off more than 60 dresses and outfits made completely of recyclable materials on a runway in the TSC Ballroom Monday evening.

The fashion show is the climax of the semester for the FCSE Dress and Humanity class. Ninety-five freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors from all across USU have been learning about the importance of recycling, reusing and repurposing a wide array of materials this semester.

“Looking at the textile industry, you see that it is one of the most polluting industries in the world,” said Family and Consumer Science Professor Lindsey Shirley. “We have so much choice, specifically in the United States, as to where we get our clothing, but we also throw away 60-plus pounds of clothing per year. Most of that doesn’t need to be thrown away, but can be repurposed and reused.”

Shirley has incorporated the fashion show into both her spring and fall courses to help students understand just how much Americans throw away that can be reused or recycled. The fashion show gives students the opportunity to be creative and design outfits out of materials that are thrown out prematurely, she said.

“The class helps students to be creative and practice problem-solving, which are things future employers may look for, not so much that they know a specific fact about a designer,” Shirley said.

The theme for the 2012 recycled fashion show was “Re:Mix.” Students were able to work individually or in groups of up to three people to design outfits inspired by one of nine different music genres—Country, Rock ‘n Roll, Classical, Pop, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Blues, Show Tunes, and Reggae.

Models showed off their outfits on the runway for judges and audience members as music from their chosen genre played. A winner was chosen from each genre, and one design team and model was awarded the “best of show.” The winners were chosen based on creativity and best use of recycled material.

A dress made completely out of plastic milk jugs titled, “Got Milk?” won in the Country music category. A colorful dress made out of Skittles wrappers, “Wear the Rainbow,” won in the Hip-Hop category. “Putting on the Ritz” was the winning outfit from the Jazz genre. “Classical Renaissance” featured a dress designed completely from sheet music in the Classical category.

A dress called “E-news,” made from newspapers, won in the Pop genre. The model winning the Rock ‘n Roll category was a little girl who wore a dress made out of old ties, appropriately named “All Tied Up.”

Another young lady modeled the winning dress in a combined Show Tunes and Blues category made entirely out of Capri Sun juice packages. “Don’t Worry About a Thing” won the Reggae category with a dress made out of recycled fabrics.

The “Best in Show” was awarded to the model and designers responsible for “Jazzy,” a shiny dress made entirely out of tinfoil.

Other materials used in designing outfits were an old foam pad, soda cans, cardboard boxes, pages from phone books, plastic garbage bags and grocery bags, neon drinking straws, outdated road maps, old sheets and towels, duct tape, old denim jeans, and tablecloths.

“It is amazing what the students have done and come up with,” said FCSE senior Alexis Valdez. “It just amazes me.”

Recycling is important and really can make a difference, Shirley says. There are many things thrown out daily without another thought that can be reused or repurposed. Just because something is no longer of use to one person doesn’t mean it can’t be used for another purpose or by another individual, she said.

“I realized in my life I throw away so much stuff that I can recycle and reuse,” said junior Mary Lynn. “I can do something with a lot of the stuff I throw out. You can repurpose a lot of things that get tossed out.”

The evening was not just about promoting fashion and recycling, but also raising awareness for the Student Nutrition Access Center (SNAC), an on-campus food bank available to students struggling financially. The admission price for audience members was a can of food to be donated to SNAC.

“Dr. Shirley does a great job teaching about the past and what is going on right now with fashion,” said Valdez. “She puts together this great fashion show and all the students get to come together and make a difference and help out SNAC. For me it was a really fun class and it gave me an opportunity to be creative.”

Lynn agreed. “You can make a difference through food and fashion,” she said. “You can put the two together and really make a difference.”




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  1. One Response to “Recycled milkjugs, tinfoil, candy wrappers make fashion statement”

  2. By Air Duct Cleaning on Apr 13, 2012

    Nice Article shared. Thanks!

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