WILMINGTON, N.C. — Sixteen high school students from New Hanover County are promoting sustainability through fashion. The Plastic Ocean Project hosted their second annual Trash’n Fash’n Show, which features designs made out of upcycled goods.

What You Need To Know

  • The Plastic Ocean Project hosted their second annual Trash’n Fash’n show at the New Hanover County Arboretum

  • All designs in the show are made with reused goods including thrifted pieces and trash

  • The show was created to promote sustainability and reducing wasteful habits

The designs were on full display at the New Hanover County Arboretum, promoting a message of sustainability.  

Rose Kurian is one of the coordinators for the show and one of the 16 high schoolers who had their design on display.

(Spectrum News 1/Natalie Mooney)

“I’ve always had an appreciation for fashion and protecting the environment,” said Kurian. “And the Trash’n Fash’n show kind of allows that creative outlet where people can express themselves all while supporting a great cause.”

The theme for this year’s show is nature, so Kurian and the other designers had to get creative.

“So my original idea was to kind of resemble a fish, because our theme for this year is nature,” said Kurian, “I kind of went for a more simpler design and ended up utilizing CDs and soda can tabs.”

All the designs are made out of repurposed trash, single-use plastics, and thrifted goods to shed light on the growing waste problem.

(Spectrum News 1/Natalie Mooney)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency said that in 2018, the country generated more than 292 million tons of municipal solid waste. Of that, 69 million tons were recycled. That same year, the EPA said plastics made up over 35 million tons, up from the 3.4 million tons generated in 2010.  

Kurian and the rest of the designers are hoping their show can shed some light on fast fashion and why repurposing your clothes and goods can be not only helpful, but fun.

(Spectrum News 1/Natalie Mooney)

“We want to spread awareness to the public about fast fashion and our wasting habits,” said Kurian. “We want people to seek out alternatives to throwing their clothes away, like repurposing and recycling materials, all while making something creative and unique in the process.”

The Trash’n Fash’n show is just one of the Plastic Ocean Project’s many programs. The non-profit organization has plenty of other ways to get involved and reduce the use of single-use plastics.  You can learn more about those programs here.