Eco-dresses – from the recycling bin to the catwalkAmanda McDonald
Last night I witnessed a catwalk show with a difference.
All the models were adorned in hand-made dresses made entirely from recycled and pre-loved items. Some chose to reflect the culture of their local community, for example, one of them created a ball-gown made entirely of local newspapers. Others had sewn together items that were special to them and their families; one model had recycled some of her Grandmother’s old clothes and re-used them in an eye-catching contemporary dress. One of the models had recently suffered from breast cancer and was a member of a support group. In the weeks prior to the show, she had collated pink items from each member of the group (pink is the recognisable colour for breast cancer) and created a full-skirted layer dress which incorporated each scrap of material, signifying the group’s shared experience of the disease. This was encapsulated in a huge pink ribbon made out of re-purposed cardboard which she wore as a halter-neck top.
Other examples of ‘trash chic’ included a flapper dress made entirely from CDs and a strapless cocktail dress created out of recycled paper. So how does this translate into our relationship with our clothes?
According to Yes Agency client WRAP, around 30% of clothing in our wardrobes has not been worn for at least a year and four in five people own at least some clothes that have not been worn because they no longer fit or need altering.
Although making a high-end fashion statement with recycled items may not be accessible to all, the principle of ‘love your clothes’ can be embraced by everyone. Visit Loveyourclothes for some simple tips on re-igniting the flame for your wardrobe, firing up your inner fashionista and saving a few quid in the process. That’s what we’ll be doing.