Turning Trash into Treasure

Posted: Wednesday, May 4th 2016 at 12:33 PM

By Kelly Johnston, FCB Student Writer

Going green is increasingly popular in light of topics like climate change and air pollution. Most associate the thought of going green with sacrifice–giving up something for the greater good of the earth. Cori Cusker, coordinator of NAU’s annual Eco Fashion Show, sees things differently.

“Being sustainable doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Sometimes it’s just a matter of re-framing and re-purposing,” says Cori Cusker.

The objective is simple–take old clothing or items that are destined for the landfill and make it new. Students design and construct wearable garments from conventionally “unwearable” items, or put together a look on a budget from thrifted clothing items. Past designs have included a gown made of playing cards and a crop top made from a computer keyboard. It’s the creative sustainability element that makes this fashion show different from any other, and traditional fashion design skills are not always required.

“Not everyone has sewing skills. We all have the ability to think differently and look creatively at the things in our lives and to create ways to re-purpose them,” Cusker says.

The event is given the full fashion show treatment with lights, music, and a runway.

Cusker has taken on two interns to aid in the planning and execution of the event. Ashley Phillis, one of the two event planning leads, sees the show as a way to sharpen her leadership skills and prepare for a career as a visual designer.

“My partner and I delegate tasks to a committee of six Eco-Reps. We plan most aspects of the show, including setup, decorations, performances, activities, and judges. My goal is to create a fun and exciting experience for both participants and audience members. If people have a great time, they are more likely to remember more of the sustainable lifestyle choices that we will be presenting,” Phillis says.

The 2016 show kicked off NAU’s Earth Week celebration on April 18th and included entertainment by student groups, giveaways, and a recycled art show. The event was free and open to the public.

Categories: turning trash into treasure cori cusker nau business news flagstaff business news fbn nbn spring 2016 may 2016 eco fashion show kelly johnston 2016