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Style and sustainability at BHS

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Some students think out-of-the-box, BHS girls take the box apart and make it into an outfit.

At least they do during the school's annual Eco Runway show.

The event encourages teams of students ages 11 to 17 years old, to make outfits and accessories out of recycled or found materials and model them on the runway.

At least half of each bit of material used must come from recycled or found items.

The event is the brainchild of the school's director of advancement, Jennifer Burland Adams, who was inspired by the television show Project Runway.

Why eco fashion?

I wanted to create something where students could combine skills from the art and design classroom with environmental awareness. Environmental awareness is one of the pillars of the school.

We encourage trash-free lunches, and we promote recycling at the school. Students learn about how to make their lives greener in the primary department, and then in the secondary department learn the science behind it.

What sort of unusual items have students used to make their outfits?

In our first year we had a really neat pleated black skirt. It looked like it was made from leather but was made from bicycle inner tubes.

You never would have been able to tell that from just looking at it. Students have used anything from umbrellas and hula hoops, to foam peanuts. Some students will go out and get sea glass.

Is there any outfit that stands out for you?

There was an absolutely brilliant umbrella dress where the skirt was a reconstructed umbrella. It was an avant garde design.

With avant garde you are thinking big and outrageous. It had a fitted top that was perfectly proportioned. It felt like something out of a professional fashion show in Paris.

Do the children ever wear the outfits after the fashion show?

We have not had anyone turn up at grub day wearing one of these outfits, at least not that I am aware. Last year, the students were asked to wear their outfits at an Earth Hour event.

That was cool. We have kept a few that we really loved at the school, and the students have taken the other outfits home.

Do you do any creating yourself?

I come up with my own designs to wear as the host. Last year, I constructed a skirt out of rolled newspaper. I made cones out of newspaper and hot-glued them together into very large rosettes and stuck them over a skirt. I used the top strips from the back of envelopes to make a layered herringbone pattern.

How many envelopes did that take?

A few hundred. They were old envelopes we had collected through the year. They weren't new. We kept them although we had no idea what we would do with them.

Part of the fun of it is seeing what works and what doesn't. This year, I discarded two tops and one skirt before coming to my final outfit.

What are you wearing this year?

I have got a skirt made of foam fleece that previously held BHS mugs. I have layered those so it is a gladiator style short skirt.

I will also be wearing a 3D printed bracelet. The school recently got a 3D printer from an anonymous donor. It is very cool.

Eco Runway takes place tomorrow at 6pm at BHS. Tickets are available at www.bhs.bm, by calling 278-3040 or via e-mail, advancement@bhs.bm. Tickets are $10 for students and $25 for adults.

Alicia Kirby at last year's BHS Eco Runway show wearing the winning avant garde outfit designed by Connie Campbell
BHS student Macy Sidders tries on a chicken wire skirt while her classmates Sacha Hosier trims and Nilla Wolffe looks on
BHS' Jennifer Burland Adams hosted last year's show in an outfit made from recycled newspaper
Sophia Marsh gets ready for the BHS show tomorrow

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Published April 24, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated April 23, 2015 at 10:30 pm)

Style and sustainability at BHS

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