Santa Clara University

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Eco-Fashion & Art Show

The Eco-Fashion and Art Show is a night to celebrate art and music by seeing eco-fashion on the runway, a recycled art gallery, and music, all showcasing the talents of Santa Clara students! Student designers and artists are asked to reuse old or recyclable materials that would normally have to go to landfill to creatively create a piece of art that not only is durable, but actually looks hip and fashionable and can either be worn again or can be recycled after the show. No money is supposed to be spent on this project, so designers are using old clothes they don’t wear anymore, and collecting scraps of fabric and other materials!

What else, besides “trash” and recycling is this show about? The fashion industry! We’ll be talking about the impact of fashion on economic, social, and environmental levels, including the lives of the factory workers that manufacture the clothes we wear, the impact of our clothing’s dyes, and other ties that are related to the environment and sustainability.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is eco-fashion? 
Generally, eco-fashion is fashion that has been produced with respect for people and the environment. This means clothing products that provide fair working conditions and wages, are produced with materials that are gentle on the environment, and take into account the life cycle of a product, among other things. 

Why have an eco-fashion show? 
Santa Clara’s eco-fashion & art show was started by a student in 2011 to do a few things: educate about the influence and impact of the fashion industry promote sustainable fashion choices and values in the lives of the SCU community (reuse, upcycling, reimagining existing things that could be seen as “trash” in new ways) to highlight creative reuse and the importance of durability, wearability and recyclability in purchasing decisions.

I missed the info session… can I still be involved? 
Absolutely! There are five ways you can be involved in this show. Contact Claire O at sustainability@scu.edu for more information. design (create a piece) model (aka work the runway) judge (based on durability, wearability and recyclability) attend (and bring friends!) gather materials (find interesting, reused items that can be used in outfits).

Do I need to know how to sew to participate?
No! While using fabric is a fun option that can result in a design you can wear after the show you should make it out of anything reusable - plastic bags, paper, etc. We’ve also hosted workshops in the past to teach designers the basics of sewing and provide resources for their work and are looking to do the same this January. 

What materials can I use? 
Anything you find that’s secondhand or would have gone to landfill! No money is supposed to be spent on new materials by designers on this project – it’s all about reuse and upcycling. In the past, runway creations have been made out of plastic bags, well-loved clothing, old curtains, newspapers, used coffee to-go cups and more! 

I want to design but don’t have a model - or I want to model but don’t have anyone to design for me - what should I do? 
Don’t worry - we can match you up! Email ClaireO at sustainability@scu.edu if you find yourself in this situation and we’ll do our best to find you a good partner.

Is it a lot of work?
 Last year, some designers for the show finished their outfits in less than a day of working on it! And...some of the outfits were finished the DAY OF! It’s not a lot of work, and it’s really fun to make something out of what other people would call ‘trash’! 

When do I need to complete my design? 
The show is scheduled for winter quarter and designers and models will participate in a run-through the day of so ideally before then. If you start early on your designs, like now or over winter break, you could come up with more than one fabulous piece! 

Can I work with someone else? 
Of course! Feel free to contribute a design on your own, with a partner, or as part of a team. 

For a better idea of what the runway looks like, check out the Center for Sustainability's YouTube channel for videos of the 2011 and 2012 shows. Looking for some inspiration? Check out our eco-fashion Pinterest board!
Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053 sustainability@scu.edu