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Community Climate Heroes: Trashion (Upcycled Fashion) at Fox Lane High School

Fox Lane High School incorporates sustainability into their design program

Textile production is a significant contributor to Greenhouse Gas Pollution, with textile waste becoming an increasing threat to public health through incineration or ending up in overburdened landfills.

To extend this conversation about textile waste while planning the SewStainable Fashion event, Bedford 2030 reached out to Fox Lane High School to invite their fashion students  to compete for spots in the upcycling show. What resulted was an inspirational view into their creative process, under the guidance of FLHS teacher Lindsay Lappin-Burke. With ongoing mentorship from local fashion designer Andrew Yu and Bedford 2030, students used their existing “Trashion” unit to think even MORE creatively about reducing textile waste. Their task: to create new looks without buying ANYTHING.

Their resulting work was made entirely from otherwise wasted textiles (scraps or unconventional materials) showcasing how one person's trash can truly become another's treasure.

"This project has been an incredible inspiration for our fashion design students. It has required them to be creative and resourceful, while promoting problem solving and awareness of waste and sustainable practices. Exposing students to the importance of sustainable fashion allows them to understand the impact we have on the world around us and empowers them to make decisions that support responsible lifestyles."

Though our SewStainable event is SOLD OUT, take a look at some of the student work below. 

Interviews conducted by Bedford 2030’s ASPIRE intern Riley Hester.

Alexa Bergin, Sophomore

Alexa’s design draws inspiration from the ocean’s movement and seashells, symbolically representing pollution with lace netting that conveys its suffocating effect. She recycled a dress for the frame, further emphasizing the connection between fashion and responsible practices.

Jenna Burns, Junior

Jenna was inspired by the concept of a swamp goddess. The design combines elements of leaves, vines, and mud, resulting in a fashion piece that exudes both earthiness and sophistication. The dress incorporates lacey mesh, repurposed from an old garment, and vines (also repurposed). 

Eve Feingold, Junior

Drawing inspiration from the positive aspects of rain, Eve’s design captures its enchanting essence with sparking elements. Crafted with a conscious approach, the design incorporates a wedding dress sourced from a costume closet, while cloud-like sleeves evoke the beauty of raindrops, adding a touch of whimsy and sustainability to the ensemble.

Olivia Knapp, Sophomore

Instead of throwing out her old math papers, Olivia used them as the foundation of a unique, beautiful dress. The frame of the design serves as a symbolic representation of tree branches and roots, emphasizing the profound connection between fashion, sustainability, and the natural world. This is a true example of recycling!

Phoebe Paletta, Senior

Phoebe’s feathered corset is inspired by the grace and beauty of birds. Her top adorned with repurposed feathers with the inside lined by a creatively upcycled trash bag. Embracing eco-conscious practices, the design ingeniously utilizes discarded materials, showcasing how sustainability can be seamlessly integrated into fashionable creations.

Aileen Paniagua, Junior

Aileen’s design draws inspiration from the shifting and transformative nature of butterflies, reflecting in its flowy sleeves and its unique front-to-back contrast. Crafted using repurposed draping scrubs, fabric scraps, and a cut-up bedsheet, the design showcases a butterfly-inspired bow and embodies the essence of metamorphosis and elegance in an eco-friendly manner.

Zoey Pignotti Phillips, Junior

Zoey’s design embodies the concept of sustainability, addressing issues of waste, fast fashion, and overuse through artful layering techniques that symbolize the complexities of these challenges. Drawing inspiration from the sunflower, the design features layered elements that mimic the upside-down petals of a flower, inviting reflection on nature’s resilience and our responsibility towards a more sustainable future.

Sela Safo, Junior

Sela was inspired by the graceful movement of the blue jellyfish. The bell-shaped skirt was created by repurposing sections of medieval dresses, while folded tulle and old party table lining add texture. Sleeves were adorned with lace sourced from dresses, ribbons are used as bow ties on armbands, and delicate lace tentacles cascade, all embellished with shimmering embroidery thread, creating a mesmerizing and eco-friendly ensemble.

Ava Smith, Junior

Inspired by the serene connection Ava’s mom feels with the ocean and beach, this sustainable fashion design captures her essence as a sea goddess using upcycled materials such as found fishnet, Renaissance gown fabrics from the school’s theater department, old dresses, and repurposed necklaces. The silky texture of the fabric serves as a beautiful reminder of the soothing waves that bring her comfort and joy, allowing me to express her vibrant energy and the colors of the beach through sustainable fashion.

Janette Zobel, Junior

Janette’s design “Mother Earth” repurposes jewelry, lace, and fabric pieces. Symbolic elements such as gold vines represent the protection of our planet, while flowers evoke the essence of being outdoors in spring. Deliberately placed with a clock motif towards the uterus, this design signifies the slow deterioration and transformation, mirroring the natural cycle of flowers and paying homage to the interconnectedness with our environment.