Ms. Jacquelyn Collins’ Fashion and Design 11 class is making fashionable garments out of recycled plastic. Collins does this project in her class to show the importance of recycling and illustrating how much goes to waste. On the first day, she introduced the project with an entire garbage bag full of plastic she collected during just one lunch hour. “There are so many ways we could get around using plastic; why do we need to always be using it?” said Ms. Collins when explaining to her students why the project was important to not only her, but the generations that will follow us.

The class is challenged to use only plastic from recycled materials found at home or in the school. These outfits use materials, plastic grocery bags, single-use water bottles, the caps to them and even broken up CDs and VHS tapes. The class goes through the full process of creating an outfit, including drawing four different ideas for their outfits and the model drawings with their outfits on a full body in their sketchbook. By the end of the semester, students’ sketchbooks are supposed to be a full collection of all the projects they’ve made, along with ideas for other things they want to make.

Students are allowed to make whatever they want out of the materials they collect as long as it’s wearable and recycled. In the past and even this year, students made glasses, purses, and groups working on the project go as far as to make full dresses. Grade 9 student, Reanne Buchart, and her partner, grade 11 Julie Johnson made a bag accessory using an old keyboard and some CD’s. The girls’ project was a class favorite.

The class wants to spread the message that the use of plastic in our world is excessive and how much it is destroying our oceans and the environment. This year Ms. Collins and her class hope to have their own segment in the Riverside fashion show showing off all the hard work they’ve put into their garments.