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Students turn trash into treasure

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Bermuda College has hosted its Trashion Show, in which students turn trash into treasure. AMY HARVEY, the organiser, talked to Young Observer about the event.

Tell us a bit about the Trashion Show at Bermuda College?

The Trashion show is intended to raise awareness on campus about repurposing and recycling in a fun way.

We initially started the Eco-Schools project with waste as our pathway, so this seemed like a great way to get everyone involved. This is our second one and we hope to make it an annual event around Earth Day.

How many students took part?

This year the show doubled in terms of pieces submitted, which was a great success for us especially as it is at the end of term, which is a really busy time for students who are preparing for exams and busily finishing off end-of-year projects.

This year we had ten designers (some pieces had collaboration) and nine models. One of the models was actually only asked on the day because a designer showed up without warning with a piece but nobody to wear it.

One of the students grabbed a brave soul who was in the cafeteria at the time and convinced her to strut her stuff. This was the pleated newspaper skirt with plastic bag halter top!

The designers were Michelle Cymbron, Asha Galloway, Rosheena Shamsid-Deen, Tihanna Booth and Andre Lambe, Renea Brooks, Brianna Pacheco, Savanna Hallal, Krislyn Lambert and Amy Harvey.

The models were Cassandra Roberts, Cayla Wade, Takiesha Wales, Chyenne Gordon, Katia Samuels, Shakira Amory, Brandi Smith, Tihanna Booth, Rosheena Shamsid-Deen.

What were the rules for the Trashion Show?

The contest was open to any members of Bermuda College — staff, students, faculty — who have a desire to turn trash into fashion, to create fun, wearable garments from discarded material, and to recycle and repurpose “junk” into fabulous and fantastic fashion.

Participants were encouraged to let their imaginations go, be wildly inventive, and “think outside of the recycle bin”.

Fashions had to be made from at least 75 per cent recyclable or reused materials that would otherwise be thrown away or recycled. These fashions included cardboard, steel/tin, recycled fabric or clothing, aluminium, plastics, paper cartons, chipboard, newspaper, mixed papers (magazines, junk mail, and catalogues), paper bags, and glass, etc.

Vintage or used clothing were not accepted unless it had been significantly repurposed and redesigned into something substantially “new”.

Contest pieces had to be durable enough for wear throughout the entire fashion show.

Footwear, jewellery, purses, and other accessories were used to enhance the overall piece.

Designers were also allowed to create and show accessories instead of a full garment but models had to wear simple clothing so that the recycled accessories could be showcased.

Each entry had to provide their own model. The model did not have to be part of the design team.

Participants had to submit their group/individual names with a description of the materials that the garment was constructed from, how they put the garment together (taped, threaded, etc), and what inspired the design.

Prizes were awarded in categories including Best Use of Recycled Materials, Best Design and Show Stopper (Best in Show).

Were there any winners? It seems to me like everyone was a winner.

I agree, everyone should have won. We had three judges, Abbie Caldas, from Greenrock; Joshua Simoes, an art student; and Danielle James, an environmental science student.

The categories were Best Overall, won by Tihanna Booth and Andre Lambe — this was the large peacock outfit modelled by Tihanna herself.

Most Creative was designed by Michelle Cymbron (a green bubble skirt/dress) and the Show Stopper was designed and modelled by Rosheena Shamsid-Deen (a foil dress which I stapled her into!).

Who co-ordinated the Trashion at Bermuda College?

The Trashion show is co-ordinated by the Bermuda College Eco Club and was initially started to raise awareness about waste reduction, recycling and repurposing, etc.

What other environmentally friendly initiatives, events or campaigns does Bermuda College offer the community?

We have had Earth Hour parties in the past, when we had a games night by candlelight. Also, we have participated in both Parking Day events in conjunction with the Department of Planning and the Corporation of Hamilton.

The first year we made a pallet bench and a pallet tree with recycling facts to help to raise public awareness about recycling.

This year we had bee pollination races to help to raise awareness about the importance of bees to our ecosystems and food systems.

Each year during parking day students also survey the general public regarding recycling behaviour, to gather information that we share with Waste Management with the hope that recycling rates will increase in Bermuda as people become more educated about its importance.

Eco-friendly fashion: Bermuda College's second Trashion Show featured fun, wearable garments made from discarded materials such as newspapers, paper bags and plastics (Photograph supplied)
Designs on helping environment: Bermuda College's Trashion Show featured fun, wearable garments made from discarded materials (Photograph supplied)
Passion for fashion: models on the Trashion Show runway (Photograph supplied)
Going green: Bermuda College's Trashion Show featured fun, wearable garments made from discarded materials such as paper (Photograph supplied)
Reuse and recycle: Bermuda College's second Trashion Show featured fun garments made from discarded materials such as plastic bags (Photograph supplied)
<p>'An exciting way to inform'</p>

This event was exemplary, with many successes: engaging a variety of students, raising awareness of the impacts of consumption, and showcasing a transformed area of the college campus.

It benefited from a lot of dedicated support behind the scenes, over many months leading up to the big night.

The Eco Club completed the waste pathway last year and has been working diligently on the school grounds pathway this year. For each, they conducted an audit to understand their baseline and priority areas for improvement and developed an action plan to make those changes.

Bringing together used items and fashion, the students drew a crowd in a positive setting and, we hope, invited new consideration for products in our everyday lives and for the materials around us.

Community engagement was a key aspect of their action plan and this event was an exciting way to inform and involve others.

For more information visit facebook.com/EcoSchoolsBermuda and www.greenrock.org

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Published June 30, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 30, 2016 at 8:53 am)

Students turn trash into treasure

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