At Sustainable Carolina’s Reclaimed Runway show, models strutted down Greene Street wearing upcycled or recycled designs created by student designers. The six different designs showed how everyday waste can be creatively reused.
The “morning routine” design came in first place. The two models wore a suit and dress that were created from newspapers, used coffee filters and Chick-Fil-A bags. The design’s purpose was to show the amount of waste in an everyday morning routine.
Lauren Trevino, first-year marine science student, created the second place and fan favorite design. Her glam rock design was inspired by David Bowie’s "Starman." The reflective jacket was created from the inside of chip bags. The design also included reused slacks and platform shoes with crushed up CD pieces glued to the sole.
Trevino said having the option to recreate old clothing reduces her contribution to fast fashion, a phrase used to describe the clothing industry’s inclination to produce large quantities of inexpensive clothing with little regard for the environment or factory workers.
“It’s really wasteful and also takes advantage of people in other countries that are making it for us,” Trevino said.
Ethical brand ratings company Good On You said “throw away” culture encourages buyers to constantly purchase new clothes and throw away the ones that aren’t keeping up with trends.
Victoria Hill, second-year environmental science student, said people buy cheap and convenient clothes that are thrown out when they’re no longer in style. She said she would rather spend more money on items that will last.
“I just think it’s important to be mindful of what you’re buying and just putting thought into the things that you’re spending money on,” Hill said.
Her “total package” design was a dress created from mail envelopes such as the ones from Amazon Prime. Her design is an example of how it easy it is to shop online for unnecessary items.
Jaquan High, second-year geology student, was a part of the team that designed an outfit for the dog model, Benny. The dog wore a turtle shell made from felt with plastic bags and water bottles attached to it "to kind of signify the dangers that sea turtles go through on the coast with plastics,” High said.
The rise in awareness of environmental issues has caused companies to add sustainable products to their line. Adidas sells a pair of shoes made from plastic found in the ocean, and Everlane has a line of outerwear made from discarded plastic bottles.
USC’s Reclaimed Runway landed on the same week as a global movement called Fashion Revolution Week which runs from April 22 to 28.
The global organization Fashion Revolution encourages consumers to ask the question ,“Who made my clothes?” to hold companies accountable to a transparent supply chain. Fashion Revolution brings awareness to issues in the fashion industry to create a more ethical and sustainable future for fashion.