Student’s Corner

In addition to my regular, everyday recycling activities, Recycle the Runway Fashion Show proved to be a great way to celebrate America Recycles Day! A variety of student groups came together in the spirit of friendly competition, each creating and coordinating a recycled and reused outfit for its own runway model “in a totally badass collision of fashion [and] sustainability” (as the Facebook page promotes).

With many Greenspace members running things from behind the scenes, In Between the Lines members MCing, and DJ Sling Long IL bumping beats for models to strut down the string-light-lined runway, the stage was well set. The only fashion restriction was that the outfits could not be made of cloth and, therefore, the show resulted in quite a variety of materials and outfits. The audience saw outfits constructed of duct tape, garbage bags, paper bags, newspaper, cardboard boxes, shopping bags, tin foil, and more. A member of Engineers for a Sustainable World assured me that the red SOLO cups the group used for their outfit were, in fact, reused from a social event the previous weekend.

While I can’t see the future of the fashion industry turning entirely to plastic and paper waste, the idea is certainly out there. Other fashion shows of this nature have been held before, even on a more professional scale. Plus, no one can ever predict what Lady Gaga’s next outrageous outfit will be made of (or where exactly the materials come from). On a more practical level, fashion shows of this kind remind us that clothing exchanges, second-time-around stores, and even parents’ or grandparents’ closets can make great (and more exciting) alternatives to shopping malls. And in light of the High Acres Landfill Tour that some students are taking from campus later today, it’s nice to think that the stylish outfits we saw last night avoided just such a landfill, at least for a while.

Written by Kathleen Shannon, Class of 2013