MILFORD – Ticket stubs, used dryer sheets and newspapers are among the materials that made their way into clothing displayed at Lauralton Hall’s Environmental Club’s 10th annual “Trash the Runway” Eco-Fashion Show March 9.
Turning trash into fashion was the predominant theme as students showcased their innovative outfits made out of recycled goods. The event aims to promote sustainable living and good stewardship of the earth.
Models strolled down the runway in dresses, gowns and skirts created out of plastic water bottles, broken CDs, used dryer sheets, corks, feathers, old magazines, newspapers and even train ticket stubs. Other outfits were made of clothing found in the school’s lost-and-found area as well as from local Salvation Army and Goodwill thrift stores.
A consignment store in Monroe also showed outfits that would have a retail value of more than $500 if purchased new, but could be bought for a fraction of the price at that store.
“I believe there should be no such thing as trash,” says Donna DiMassa, Environmental Club moderator and an English teacher at Lauralton Hall. “There’s always something you could make out of it.” The students had to follow three crucial steps for the show: first, think of a design; second, make that design wearable; and third, use what many people unthinkingly toss into the trash to bring their idea to life.
The project helps them to look at trash in a different light.
“The models and designers want us not only to reduce, reuse and recycle; they want us to think twice about what we consider to be trash,” explained Ms. DiMassa. “With a little thought and ingenuity, someone else’s trash could be reworked into something completely unique and beautiful.”
The show was narrated by club officers who not only explained details of the outfits and materials used, but also presented a fact about recycling related to the creation.
Senior Emma Sanfilippo’s dress was made out of plastic grocery bags. The commentator pointed out that people who use reusable bags instead of plastic ones can get discounts at some stores.
Adaeze Dikko, ’16, won Best Junior Outfit for her mermaid- style dress made out of corks, newspaper and a recycled choir robe. The commentator said that Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year, enough to build a 12-foot-high wall of paper from New York to California.
“The fashion show is such a fun time and a great experience, especially being able to see everyone’s creativity in the outfits and how they are made,” said Olivia Kaufman, president of the Environmental Club.
“It makes you realize how everyday objects can be transformed and how we can transform to do good things for the environment.”
She modeled a dress, headband and pocketbook, all made from old scarves.
Faculty members judged and gave various awards in several categories. Below is the list of winners:
Best Freshman Outfit: Mackenzie Llewellyn, dress made out of old polo shirts and train tickets;
Best Sophomore Outfit: Sasha Samuah (model) and Sydney King ’17 (designer), dress designed from an old choir robe, accessories created using an old skirt as a belt and appliqué beading from broken jewelry;
Best Senior Outfit: Laura Shafer, dress created from cardboard boxes cut into strips, and fabric scraps and used dryer sheets used as flower embellishments;
Most Avant Garde: Shannon Hargitt, ’15, dress made from used T-shirts and skirts;
Best presence: Emma Sanfilippo,’15, (model) and Vivian Cheng, ’15, (designer), gown made of plastic grocery bags;
Most wearable: Shannon Buttling, ’17, and Lauren Merganthaler, ’17, outfits made out of old flannel clothing;
Most creative: Sarah Haselkamp, ’15, dress handmade out of recycled Poland Spring water bottles and bubble wrap;
Most interesting material: Remi Smith, ’15, outfit made entirely of balloons;
First Place Overall: Senior Marissa Browne, (model) and seniors Meghan Dougherty and Emily Discepola (designers), dress made from cut-up junk mail;
Second Place Overall: Vivian Cheng, ’15, gown made of chopped up CDs and craft paper;
Third Place Overall: Angela Provenzano, ’15, cocktail dress made from down feathers, plastic bags and an old bed sheet.