April 13, 2012
A grocery sack floating in the wind might appear as garbage to most people but has endless potential to others. Dresses, made of not only plastic bags, but everything from phone books to coffee filters and VHS tape were on display Thursday at the Texas Tech University Library Croslin Room.
This event, called “From Trashy to Classy” is a joint effort between Texas Tech’s Apparel Design and Manufacturing (ADM) students and the student chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design and construction.
Shay Hlavaty is vice-president of the student organization. Her continuing mission is to encourage those with untrained eyes to seek possibilities outside the box.
“Just because it’s been used once, doesn’t mean it’s ready for the landfill,” Hlavaty said.
This mission is shared by ADM director and associate professor Su Shin. Each year, she instructs her students to design a wearable and recycled outift, using materials that would not ordinarily use a second time.
Allison Gilliland, a junior from Fairview, found her inspiration in the bottom of a soda can.
“I looked around the room and saw the cans,” Gilliland said. “The hardest part was figuring out how to attach them.”
In the end, she settled on paper clips and bits of wire. The concept was relevant considering her dress is a stylish two piece made entirely from recycled aluminum.
“The outfits were previously modeled at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center during the First Friday Art Trail,” Shin said. “We received positive feedback from the community, and invitations to display the designs at other community events, such as the Lubbock Arts Festival.”
The top three designs will also be displayed at the fourth annual “Spring Into Green” conference April 19 - 20 at the Texas Tech Rawls College of Business, and ADM’s senior fashion show on April 28. Shin, Hlavaty and her mother, Valerie, an instructor of retail management, are judges.
Shay Hlavaty hopes the assignment will inspire people to give another thought to alternative forms of conservation, such as choosing to walk instead of ride, or cloth bags instead of plastic.
“Being environmentally friendly does not have to be difficult, time consuming or life changing,” Hlavaty said. “We’re all about incorporating sustainability into everyday life.”
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CONTACT: Su-Jeong H. Shin, associate professor, Department of Design, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.