This is part 1 of a 2 part sneak peek series for Chicago’s Second Annual Project Greenway.
My name is Stephanie Greene and I am a junior at Walter Payton College Prep. I like to spend my time living up to the hype of my last name, and blogging over at All Worn Out (http://all-worn-out.blogspot.com/)- check it out!
Living in Chicago, it is easy to think that the only way I can reduce my carbon footprint is by riding my bike, or unplugging my laptop charger. In a city full of gas guzzlers and energy hoggers, there is something every one of us could do to take a small step toward bettering the planet: change the way we dress. As a self-proclaimed fashionista, I can extend my environmentally conscious mindset to my clothing. I’m feeling especially inspired since the second annual ACE Project Greenway fashion show is just around the corner. Having just celebrated Earth Day, there could not be a better time to see what some other Chicagoland students are doing in preparation for the show!
First up: Mary Tres. Mary is a senior at Whitney Young Magnet High School, and quite the talented designer. Her work shows obvious inspiration from one of the greatest designers and one of the most sought after artist to grace our green planet. Her work shows meticulous attention to detail, and impeccable construction. For one of Mary’s dresses she mixed her imagination with that of the late designer Alexander McQueen to come up with one of her outfits. A majority of it is made out of tissue paper and Mary says, “The most challenging part about the tissue paper dress was simply making it. First, I had to cut squares of tissue paper, form each square into a flower like shape, and then attach that onto the base of the dress. Since, the dress was so large, I had to continue these steps over and over, until the base was completely covered with the paper.” Meticulous indeed.
Mary’s second dress mimicked the style of Andy Warhol- his Campbell’s Soup Cans piece to be exact. She says, “The most challenging part about the Campbell’s dress was collecting all the labels. I had to ask numerous people at my school and family members to help donate any labels they had.” Mary was able to turn those collected soup labels into a gorgeous piece of art. As for her third dress, you’ll have to wait and see. And trust me, it’s more than worth the wait.
Next: The dynamic duo of Laura Jimenez and Nitzah Vasquez. Both freshmen at Whitney Young, they seem to have passion far beyond their years. They will be showing a grand total of 8 outfits at the fashion show that took a whopping 53 hours to construct. A strong mix of dedication and passion has done these ladies well. All of their looks are made out of things we use every day: “a dress made out of balloons, a dress made out of black garbage bags, a dress made out of white grocery bags, a dress made out of plastic cups and another dress made out of an Ikea bag. We also have a dress made out of skittles, a dress made out of newspaper, and a dress made out of seatbelts.” Their use of a wide range of materials really show what we can do we think outside of the box…or recycle bin.
After being assigned a Biology project that called for them to help the environment in some way, they decided to make clothes out of recycled material. Laura and Nitzah say that, “[We] did not want to do something that would be expected, such as cleaning up garbage or gardening…[so] we decided to combine our love of fashion with helping the environment.” Unbeknownst to them when they initially started their project, they would still be doing the expected just in a much cooler, and stylish way. Using white grocery bags that I’m sure we’ve all seen floating through the air and the bags from Skittles that I’m sure we’ve all devoured, they did just as much as the kids that went out picking up garbage, just in the reverse order. They have successfully kept lots of garbage off of our streets, out of our landfills, and have fantastic garments to show for it.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the blog series.