The members of the United Residence Halls Council will be hosting the annual Trash to Treasure Fashion Show this Thursday night.
But this won’t be the typical designer fashion show. Every contestant will be wearing the latest in handmade recyclable clothing. The event is in celebration of Earth Month and the university’s efforts to “Make Orange Green.”
Make Orange Green is UT’s program to promote action toward making the campus more environmentally friendly. The goal of the program is to provide information to students on how they can individually make a difference.
Sarah Surak, public relations manager for UT’s Facilities Services department, will be speaking at the fashion show about important steps students can take to keep the environment healthier.
“She talks a lot about making the environment better by recycling,” said Jennifer Wilson, a resident assistant in Humes Hall.
According to the university’s Web site, UT recycles more than 600 tons of materials each year.
Contestants in the fashion show are free to use whatever material they can find, as long as it can be recycled. Past contestants have used materials such as aluminum cans, plastic and toilet paper to make shirts, pants and dresses. The only item of clothing not required to be recyclable is shoes.
“We see everything from sailor skirts from newspapers to dresses made out of paper bags,” said Beth Wilson, a resident assistant in South Carrick.
Last year, 10 contestants competed to win the $50 prize for best outfit. This year the council is expecting an even larger crowd. They are hoping to exceed last year’s turnout of 120 people.
“The event is very casual,” Wilson said.
Beth Wilson said one particular episode on the popular reality show “Project Runway” may help draw people to the fashion show this year. On the show, designers were asked to produce outfits made out of material that could be recycled and that could actually be sold. Anyone who saw the episode might be inspired to show off his or her skills on Thursday, she said.
All contestants walk down the runway in order to show off their outfits, and afterwards they are asked to explain the materials they used to the audience and judges.
The fashion show will be set up in Presidential Courtyard and will include a large runway, music and a panel of judges. Contestants can sign up until Thursday morning.
The Trash to Treasure Fashion Show is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. at Presidential Courtyard.