The Daily Gamecock

Reclaimed Runway promotes sustainability through fashion

A cardboard suit and a dress made out of CDs. These were just two of the various outfits that were shown off at the Reclaimed Runway fashion show held by Sustainable Carolina at the Russell House on Oct. 24.

Reclaimed Runway is a student fashion show where designers create clothing using recycled and upcycled materials for models to then show off on the runway. The event is designed to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability in our society and the many forms that it takes.

The event was hosted by Student Body Treasurer Stinson Rogers, who welcomed all the students in attendance and proceeded to announce the models one by one to the runway. The models walked out in their recycled outfits, struck poses and smiled for the camera like a normal fashion show. While some of the clothes were met with laughter, like the model wearing a cardboard suit, others were perceived as truly fashionable.

“I actually thought some of them were really attractive,” Sustainable Carolina volunteer and environmental science major Emma Deloughry said. “There’s a couple of them that I definitely would actually wear.”

Each outfit was paired with a screen displaying the designer's and model’s names along with the inspirations for the design and a brief summary from Rogers about what environmental issue the designer was trying to raise awareness for. These included everything from ocean conservation to vampire energy, or the power that is leaked from devices that are off but left plugged in. By promoting these issues, Sustainable Carolina seeks to reach people who don’t normally think about these issues.

“I think that a lot of people either don’t care about the environment or think that it’s too late to make changes, but if everyone makes a significant effort to change their behavior and lifestyle, then we can definitely save what’s left of nature,” Deloughry said.

According to Liliann Pineda, a Sustainable Carolina lead intern and third-year retailing student,  Reclaimed Runway and the issue of sustainable practices is especially important for students.

"I think it’s important for students because it shows a really important issue in a more unconventional way,” Pineda said. “Sustainability encompasses all parts of our lives, and I think it’s something that students at USC need to be more educated about because I feel like they just think, 'Oh, turn off the lights," but there’s so many ways they can incorporate it into their life.”

Pineda went on to speak directly about what she sees as problematic practices on USC's campus.

“We’re not a very sustainable campus,” Pineda said. “There’s a lot of issues like waste management. Our transportations is very unreliable. There’s a lot of different things that we could do to improve [and] make our lives more sustainable.“

Sustainable Carolina has more upcoming events planned, including the Green Networking Breakfast on Nov. 16, which allows students to discuss and network with people over the concepts of sustainability.

“There’s a lot of ways you can get involved in Sustainable Carolina,” Pineda said. “Even if you just want to learn more about sustainability, you can volunteer, you can intern, even just coming to our events really supports us and lets us get our voice out there.”

With unusual outfits, corny jokes and even a performance from USC a cappella group “Cockappella,” Reclaimed Runway was viewed by many as a fun way to learn about environmental preservation.

“It’s just a lot of fun to get involved, and you just kind of learn something along the way about sustainability. And it’s so much fun to see what students can come up with out of just recycled materials and how much time they put into it," Allison Summer, third-year insurance and risk management major, said. 


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