By Christian Portilla
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) This is not your average Miami fashion show, far from it! This catwalk features FIU students who have designed pieces that incorporate recycled materials. At this years’ show, materials ranged from Panther Coffee cup sweaters to eggshells and broken CDs. First prize went to a design team of three young women (hopefully future women in business) who incorporated trash bags, wires and 3-D printing filament scraps.
They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And with a lot of creativity and love for repurposing, that same trash was turned into eco couture designs fit for a walk on the runway.
Two years ago, Amira Ajlouni, a graduate student from the School of Architecture at Florida International University, prepared her master’s class thesis project. Instead of designing a building, she took an alternative route where the focus of her project would center on sustainability. She created a fashion show with design pieces that only incorporated recycled materials. Now, the event is in its third year.
“Sustainability is one of those topics that needs more awareness,” Ajlouni said. “And it’s a topic that still needs to reach people, so a fashion show is an entertaining and visual way for people to understand sustainability and recycling.”
Eco Couture is hosted in the style of competition in which FIU students from all majors submit their designs and compete with peers for scholarship prizes. The first place winner received $1,000, second place $500 and third $250. There is also a $200 people’s choice award that grants a special prize for the design favored by the audience.
This year’s event had eight judges and included fashion designers, artists and city officials looking for multiple features in the design, such as the amount of repurposed materials used, creativity in design and the aesthetics behind the appearance of the ensemble.