How To 'RE-FASHION' Plastic Bags Into Dresses

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This past weekend, EM & Co., a Los Angeles boutique, featured its first art exhibit for 2009, “RE-FASHION: Plastic Bag.” The exhibit featured wearable, one-of-a-kind dresses made from plastic bags and other recyclable materials, designed by local L.A. artists.

The designers, Khatia Esartia, Julia Sergeon, Ishi Glinsky, and EM, created pieces that demonstrate “how a mundane object, often used as a trash receptacle, can create stylized, eye-catching, inspiring creations.” Designers also reused materials like cardboard, mussel shells, string, burlap fabric, wire and Christmas lights on their pieces.

EM & Co.'s "RE-FASHION" exhibit features dresses made from plastic bags and other recycled materials - EM & Co.

EM & Co.'s "RE-FASHION" exhibit featured dresses made from recycled plastic bags and other materials. -EM & Co.

“We chose to focus on the crinkly plastic shopping bag that you get at Home Depot and grocery stores. It is such a great medium to work with, very versatile, great texture,” says EM & Co owner, Eveline Morel. “The dresses are very wearable, they’re layered onto a silk slip, have lots of holes, keep you from overheating… to clean them, you can just hose them down, no ironing required.”

As continued plastic bag legislation and recycling initiatives begin around the country, and companies worldwide are assessing their environmental impact on their reputations with consumers, plastic bags are being viewed as less “in” and more “out.” According to EM & Co., the installation focused on “how an object that is going out of fashion can create fashion-forward objects of lasting beauty.”

As a new year begins, eco-friendly materials and designers are beginning to receive more press among other green initiatives. Reuse of waste materials and the use of sustainable materials and fabrics are moving from simply being “green” to being in-style.

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