A fashion show held in Calgary on Saturday helped convert Trash2Treasure in an effort to raise awareness about reducing overconsumption.
One dress was made out of a blanket, while another was fashioned from a dining table cloth.
The clothing on the catwalk at the show at cSPACE Marda Loop was one of kind.
All the fabric for the stunning pieces were donated by Goodwill and given a second life through creative hands.
“I think the dress feels really comfortable to start with,” said University of Calgary student and show model Glory Okeleke. “I think just the knowledge that this was made out of a quilt before and seeing how it can be used and designed into something that’s beautiful, is very special.”
Students from the University of Calgary and University of Alberta hosted the fashion show as a way to combine fashion with environmental education, while also encouraging a more co-conscious lifestyle.
“I think it’s possible to recycle things we already have and repurpose them,” said Trash2Treasure organizer Nidhi Kotikalapudi who is a co-founder of the Aquativity Project. “It’s OK to buy new things but always going back and reflecting, what do we have in our closet? Is there something we can swap with our friends?”
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“Can we make use of what we have, even if we don’t know how to sew?” Kotikalapudi continued. “Can we pair the same thing with different jeans or skirts or shorts? And when we get bored of it, can we make it into something else?”
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Kotikalapudi said working on the project has given students a outlet to combat feelings of eco-anxiety.
“I work with a lot of students who are really passionate and want to do something but they wonder what do I do? That’s a really big question for people,” she said.
“They see it as a global problem. It’s too big for me. I can’t solve it on my own. I think we can’t solve it on our own but I think we can take those small actions in our community and we can think about the clothes we buy and that’s what the fashion show is about, because everything is made out of recycled fabrics,” said Kotikalapudi, a fourth year biomedical sciences student at the University of Calgary.
The show featured nine outfits, each inspired by a distinct colour of the Indian festival Navaratri reflected in colours of grey to more vibrant selections. The project’s organizer said she started off at grey in her outlook towards the environment but has since transitioned, much like the renewal of the fabric from trash to treasure.
“I was at grey but I’m definitely now working towards the middle, more towards the yellows and greens because the amount of talent and the amount of dedication that each one of the volunteers and everyone here has done for the show. (It) has been incredible and it gives me a lot of hope that there are people out there that want to make a difference,” Kotikalapudi said.
The Aquativity project was founded and supported by Ocean Wise ambassadors.
The project has been created in commemoration of the lives of all the victims of Ethiopian airlines flight 302, including two Ocean Bridge ambassadors Danielle Moore and Micha Messent.
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