Project Green Runway stages fantastic plastic 'trashion' show
Jun 17, 2012 (Menafn - The Marin Independent Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Nineteen-year-old Nadja Klein looked every inch the beautiful bride Saturday, modeling a frothy white wedding dress made of trash -- discarded plastic bags, pop-top rings from aluminum cans and other junk picked up from Kehoe Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore.
The dress, created by San Geronimo Valley artist Judith Selby Lang, was a highlight of Project Green Runway, a "trashion" show staged at Marin Recycling Center and Sanitary Service in San Rafael. It featured 30 young models, from 12 to 24, striding the runway in outfits made of bicycle tire tubes, bottle caps, white construction plastic, single-use plastic grocery bags, plastic playing cards, shocking pink bubble wrap and other environmentally
"Before this I never thought about what people could actually do with this plastic," said Klein, a German au pair living in Novato. "We throw it away and never think about it again. It's gone. But this showed us we can use that plastic to make beautiful things. I was surprised by that."
San Anselmo artist Elise Cheval and West Marin ecologist and health educator Christin Anderson came up with the idea for the Green Runway Project after meeting four months ago at Mill Valley's O'Hanlon Center for the Arts during an exhibit of Cheval's recycled plastic fashions.
"Our mission is to get young people involved in raising awareness about all the discarded plastic that's ending up in the ocean and killing our sea
life," Anderson said. "There's lot of things we can do, like re-using plastic or making it into something else. We've made and designed outfits made of discarded waste plastic before it goes into the ocean. We're pre-cycling it."
Anderson modeled a dress, called Snow Zebra, she fashioned out of white construction plastic and black and white zebra duct tape. Cheval wore a skirt, jacket and hat outfit, called Wake-up Call, that she made out of heavy, four-ply plastic banners from coffee shops.
"All this is connected to reducing our disposable plastic use and the amount that gets manufactured," said Christopher Pincetich, a marine biologist with Turtle Island Restoration Network in Olema. "In turn, this could mean less plastic in the ocean, which is impacting sea turtles, seabirds, whales and all marine life in a deadly way."
About 40 people turned out for the show in the Marin Recycling's Environmental Center.
Pimwalee Kachinthorn, a 19-year-old model from Santa Cruz, had on a tight-fitting jumper made out of a heavy plastic advertising banner for a brand of tea. On a warm afternoon, it may not have been the most comfortable clothing choice.
"But it's what you do for fashion," she said.
Contact Paul Liberatore via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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