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Trash turned into fashion at trashion show

"Recycling and using materials more than once is a lesson children have to learn early.”

Young environmental warriors turned recycled trash bags, newspapers, toilet roll holders and cardboard into fashion costumes for the Benoni Trashion Show on May 25 to raise awareness of reusing recyclable material so it doesn’t end up on landfills.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Benoni Aurora and Homestead Helpers for Benoni, the event featured a runway show of five designs by the learners of St Dunstan’s Preparatory, Eco-Campus and Trashnique Youth Group.

Kayleigh Gatlik on the runway showcasing a design by Trashnique Youth Group.

The show also included a showcase of designs by JT Bespoke Designs, a sewing project from Daveyton. Rampage Modelling Agency models and Yolandi Bulger, a physically challenged model, debuted the JT Bespoke Designs clothing collection.

Participants created wearable outfits from recycled material they showed off at the event to help create awareness that we can create usable things from unwanted items.

The winners from Trashnique Youth Group are Kayla Dimitrejevic, Micah Burt, Jessica van der Merwe and Abigail Chadwick.

“We wanted to have the competition to raise awareness and bring schools together for a good cause. Recycling and using materials more than once is a lesson children have to learn early,” said St Dunstan’s Preparatory teacher and member of Homestead Helpers, Peta-Anne Patel.

Patel emphasised the importance of teaching children about recycling early, saying, “It’s not something they automatically know. It’s something teachers, parents and communities have to teach them. The earlier we start, the better. We are teaching them these hard truths in a fun manner.”

The judges of the trashion show.

The Trashnique Youth Group won the competition for their costume made of rubbish bags, newspapers, bottle caps and paper flowers.

“We designed it this way because it emphasised our model and all the materials we used. We also made ruffles out of newspapers and had plastic flowers sticking out everywhere. It was really beautiful,” said the group’s Jessica van der Merwe.

This is the costume that won the competition. It was designed by Trashnique Youth Group.

Van der Merwe said it was important to reuse recyclable material because it prevents some items from ending up on landfills and polluting the earth.

“Without recycling, the earth is going to deteriorate. We only have one earth and people need to realise we have to look after it,” she said.

Patel said she hoped the learners and the people who watched the show would start seeing rubbish differently.

Kayleigh Gatlik wearing her plastic-inspired costume.

“If at least one child can think about reusing plastic, we are winning. It is those little steps that if we add them together, they make a difference.”

She urged Benonians to recycle more, especially after the town was declared to have recorded the worst air quality in Africa.

“We can either sit at home and complain about things not being done or give our time to make a difference. That’s a choice everyone has to make,” Patel said.

Also Read: Daveyton make-up artist hits the big-time at SA Fashion Week

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