ACPS elementary students turning trash into fashion

Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 4:41 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - In honor of Earth Month, second graders at Meriwether Lewis Elementary School are learning how to take care of the planet by recycling, in a way you might not expect.

They’re tasked with making their own clothes, hats and shoes out of trash.

“Recycling is making new things that you can use out of used things,” 7-year-old June said.

“One of the things that we noticed in our school and in our homes that there are a lot more boxes and packaging supplies around,” teacher Heidi Robinson said. “So this seemed like a timely project too, to talk about reusing things, recycling those things and repurposing them.”

Decked out in old plastic and paper bags, cardboard, and anything else they can get their hands on, they ruled the runway, showing off their hand-made pieces at a virtual “Trashion Show.”

Students created their own signature look and wrote a short piece about how their “trashion” could be worn in public.

Tyler made his own shirt out of reused cans.

“You hold water from these,” he said, pointing down to his smock made out of paper grocery bags and aluminum cans. “When you’re thirsty, you can just take a can off and drink from it.”

For Tyler and this rest of his class, it’s about giving new life to trash and saving life on Earth.

“You want to reuse to help the Earth,” he said.

Robinson said the fashion show sparked confidence, creativity and conversations about how to reduce their waste at home.

“It’s empowering for them to realize small efforts become big progress, and starting ordinary can be extraordinary,” the teacher said.

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