Santa Clara University


Eco-Friendly Fashion Show Transforms Recyclables

by Alyssa Tomasello '13

On February 2, the recycling bin ended up on the runway. Student designers and artists utilized their creative talents to take materials that would have otherwise ended up in the recycling bin and transform them into works of art for the second annual Eco-Fashion and Art Show, hosted by the Office of Sustainability.
RMI eco-fashion-art-show

With the environment in mind, student designers were challenged to incorporate the three principles of reparability, recyclability, and durability to develop innovative solutions in constructing their garments. For the event, Benson Center's California Mission Room was transformed not only into a runway, but also into a walk-through gallery of recycled art, showcasing the talents of Santa Clara University student artists. Eco-friendly vendors who either source local product lines or create their own lines provided information and sustainable goods to attendees.

"Through the work of the student designers and artists, audience members were encouraged to think about the items and products they frequently use, and think about alternative uses and reuses by putting things on the runway instead of sending them to the landfill," stated Michelle Tang, Office of Sustainability Intern and Chair of the Eco-Fashion and Art Show.

The Retail Management Institute has geared its community service program toward sustainable initiatives, working to transform the consumer mindset. The goal of our participation in this event was to bring the notion of conscious consumerism to the forefront. Students are encouraged to think twice before purchasing a new outfit, throwing out an old one, or washing and drying their clothes needlessly.

eco-fashion-med-2The Retail Studies Student Association (RSSA) partnered with TOMS shoe company to promote the One for One movement. TOMS gives both sustainably and responsibly, and is committed to creating the biggest long-term impact possible with the shoes they give, improving children's health and access to education. At the event, audience members were invited to watch "For Tomorrow," the TOMS shoe story DVD, as well as check out various fall and spring styles. Featuring TOMS shoes was a way to show students how their purchases can have an impact on the global community.

This year, the goal of RSSA's Mission Outreach is to collaborate with other on-campus programs to promote awareness, conscious consumerism, and sustainable retail practices. The collaboration within RSSA and other on-campus clubs furthers the Jesuit commitment to service through a primary focus on socially responsible business practices.

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