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UW Students Recycle Garments to Highlight Fashion Sustainability

April 8, 2014
Man sewing formal gown
Paul Ditty works on his sustainable fashion piece for Friday’s Eco Chic Fashion Show.

Garments and materials refashioned or those upcycled from thrift stores will be showcased in the Eco Chic Fashion Show Friday, April 11, at 5 p.m. at the University of Wyoming Visual Arts Building lobby.

The free, catered show is meant to bring awareness about sustainability in the apparel industry and highlight students’ work.

“The apparel industry isn’t really known for being kind to the environment,” notes Paul Ditty of Cheyenne, a senior in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and who is designing two garments for the show.

Entries from across the UW campus spotlight five categories: upcycled, eco-friendly material, exhibition, thrift store style and wearable art. 

Each year, student honoraries Phi Omicron Upsilon and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences conduct a professional project. This year, the two joined forces for the eco chic show.

“Eco Chic Fashion Show is an event to bring students together to create designs that are sustainable and either upcycled garments or thrift store garments, or what we consider wearable art, which is like trash to treasure,” says Jessica Los of Firestone, Colo., president of Phi Omicron Upsilon.        

Keynote speaker Patricia Moura, in partnership with Dorly Piske from Partners of America, trains women to make bio jewelry (made with material furnished by nature) in Recife, Brazil, to create a strong community and jobs for the women.

Los, Ditty and Emily Schroeder, Gillette, say sustainability awareness is emphasized in the family and consumer sciences department.

The Eco Chic Fashion Show is to prove that, “Yes, there is a way to be fashionable and conscious of the environment,” says Schroeder. “The textile and apparel industry is really harsh on the environment because it uses a lot of water in each of the processes to produce finished products. With the dwindling availability of natural resources, it is important to ensure manufacturing can be viable in the future.” 

For more information, search “Eco Chic: A Sustainable Style Fashion Show” on Facebook.

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