For the first time ever at Riverside, grade 12 student Julie Johnson-Lepine has started a new fashion club as a place to talk about fashion, style, as well as designing and up-cycling clothing. If people want to join the club, they can come and sign up at the meetings every Wednesday during lunch in room 127.

Your clothes may end up in a landfill. Photo courtesy of 10 Daily.

Lepine created the club hoping to get people more involved and to create a little community. “I really want people to know that you can create anything new with old clothing. Possibilities are endless; there is just so much you can do with used clothes and new clothes. It’s an amazing opportunity to show your creativeness,” said Lepine.

The club has brought awareness to fast fashion and is environmentally progressive because the main focus is to up-cycle old clothes, preventing them from going into landfills and harming the environment, as most clothes consist of synthetic, non-biodegradable fiber. It also encourages creativity, innovation and helps support local thrift stores and second-hand stores. “There are so many things to do with clothes, you can DIY them, paint on them, draw on them; up-cycling saves you money and it’s an amazing and fun to find new uses for old clothes that no longer fit. You’ve just got to be creative and think outside the box,” said grade 12 student Olivia McDonnell.

Isabella Bosse up-cycling an old pair of pants.

Lepine feels confident about what’s to come for the club, and how it will run. “Expectations for the club are there, but there’s nothing like it. I’m creating a new ‘recipe’ of sorts of what a fashion club can be like in the school because we are the first of its kind,” said Lepine. She hopes to grow the club and most importantly, for the members to have fun.

The club doesn’t just offer fashion ideas and fun but also deals with leadership and marketing aspects. Students can learn a little bit of everything and develop new skills while developing new friendships.

Fashion has now become a big part of Lepine’s life and has given her the opportunity to be a part of a fashion community, and she hopes her club will do the same for its members. “I grew up overseas and had to wear a uniform but being able to express myself through clothing has opened me up to meeting new people and ideas,” said Lepine.

The club will be also hosting a fundraiser on October 30 during lunch in the foyer where students can donate clothes in exchange for cookies and muffins. The fundraiser is to raise money and clothes for future events, such as fashion design workshops and excursions for the club. This will invite students to find something old that they can give new use to, and that at the same time will create positive impacts for the environment.