Runway Redux: Zero Waste Fashion Recycles Plastics

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Plastic has never looked so good! Kicking off the plastics industry’s huge trade show, the NPE 2015, from March 23-27 in Orlando, Florida, was the Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion Show.

NPE 2015 Zero Waste Fashion Show

This dress is just one of the creations from recycled, reused, or repurposed plastics that models will display in the Pursuing Zero Waste Fashion. Image courtesy of NPE.

But these were no ordinary runway styles — all the fashions the models rocked were designed and submitted by students of Savannah College of Art and Design — and made from recycled, reused, or repurposed plastics. The show was sponsored by Green Dot, a bioplastics firm, and the fashions that made their way onto the runway were chosen by NPE trade show owner, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI).

While some of the garments were certainly far from traditional, they didn’t look much different than the high-fashion, trend-setting clothing made from textiles we’re used to seeing on the catwalk.  According to SPI, the impetus for the Zero Waste Fashion Show was to emphasize the importance of recycling to the upcoming generation, such as the very students who designed these styles, and to showcase these students vision of how many forms of plastics can be reused in the future. Every detail of the red-carpet worthy styles was considered. 3D-printed plastic accessories were even included.

In a press release posted on the NPE website prior to the event, Brad Williams, SPI director of sales and marketing said of the show, “We chose to work with SCAD because of its outstanding reputation among schools of design and its forward-looking, creative approach to technology. I have seen the students’ initial designs and I believe NPE2015 attendees will be excited by the creative outfits they will see at the fashion show.”

The fashions were on display post-show at the trade show’s Zero Waste Zone, a specific area of the exhibit floor dedicated to the industry’s sustainability efforts, giving guests a chance to get an up close and personal look at the unique designs and materials.

While the fashion industry has always been one of indulgence, it’s clear to see that even it is being touched by the impact and importance of environmental issues. Many clothing companies have become dedicated to a higher consciousness, and with the incredible vision, creativity and talent of the industry’s up and comers, there is no limit to the changes that can be made within the fashion industry — and others — simply by reusing and repurposing.

Feature image courtesy of Savannah College of Art and Design

Want to know more about living a zero waste lifestyle? Check out these articles:

  • How to Cook up a Zero Waste Kitchen
  • What Does Zero Waste Really Mean?
  • Zero Waste Cleaning and Laundry Tips
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    Molly Smith

    Molly Smith

    Molly Cerreta Smith has been writing as a passion for as long as she could hold a pen and professionally for more than 15 years. Molly has hundreds of local and nationally published articles under her belt on topics including health and fitness, pregnancy and motherhood, food and dining, businesspeople, pets, travel, green living and love. When she’s not putting pen to paper, she loves reading, baking, sweating it out on a hiking trail or in a Zumba class, and engaging in “game nights” with her husband and their two kids.
    Molly Smith