Thursday 8 December 2016
Recycling plastic has been given a make-over by students from Southampton Solent University, who transformed reusable plastic into catwalk-worthy collections.
Working closely with Dow, one of the world leaders in the packaging and plastics industry, nine students were given the opportunity to visit Dusseldorf, where their work was showcased at K2016 - the largest international exhibition for plastic and rubber.
Students helped to create a live catwalk which represented Dow’s spectacular ‘Face of Innovation’ theme, using their individual talents and experience to create a catwalk with a difference.
Pleased to see that the students were getting more eco with their designs, Dr Laurie Wright, an environmental scientist at the University School of Maritime and Science Engineering says: "These incredible, innovative designs show what we can achieve when we start realising the value of materials, and rethink what we consider to be waste. Plastic production is increasing rapidly - currently up to a third of plastic packaging escapes existing collection systems and ends up in our oceans.
“The students demonstrated how rethinking and reusing waste plastics can be used to create beauty as well as improve sustainability."
Lily and Charlotte, both third-year make-up and hair design students at Solent University enjoyed huge success on the catwalk throughout the five fashion shows.
Lily Thompson (24), who was responsible for hair and make-up, says: “We both have a passion for nature and wanted this to inspire our design. In our early workshops, we looked at natural forms and animals, playing around and making scales.
“Using the offcuts, any leftover materials were also used to make a second garment – which fits with the ethos of the whole project to ensure nothing goes to waste.”
Students were encouraged to think outside of the box and consider the sustainability of the materials they would usually work with to avoid waste and recycle.
Virginie Wengler, communications manager at Dow explains: “Inspiration on the catwalk to express Dow’s innovation and sustainability focus was the idea. The passion and creativity of the Solent team made it real. I was impressed how students embraced Dow’s Face of Innovation theme and developed their skills throughout the project. The garments were truly inspiring and proof that plastics can be reused even in a high-fashion way. I am thrilled to pursue the collaboration with Solent beyond the K-Show as we need to continue to look at the way we value waste plastics.”
Charlotte Logue (21), helped assist the Creative Director with the live shows: “The Dow project was such a rewarding experience and opened up so many opportunities for us as students. It pushed us out of our comfort zone to fully develop as professionals.”