Waste-focused fashion show models how to reuse, reduce

April 23 – A choir of delighted cries of children filled the gymnasium as the lights went out on Friday at the Incarnate Word Academy in Brownsville.

Then came silence as the crowd watched Principal Michael Camarillo raise three fingers in a “W” shape.

Soon after, the annual Trashionista was underway, for the first time in years as the COVID-19 pandemic forced social distancing protocols and cancellations across the Rio Grande Valley and around the world.

Against the backdrop of upbeat dance music, students paraded through discarded items creatively repurposed into Olympic-themed sportswear. First on stage, Valeria Alcantera and Sebastian Jaramilla sported HEB black plastic and reusable plastic bags that were transformed into tennis uniforms.

Group by group, students from kindergarten to middle school walked, twirled, and posed in costumes representative of volleyball, soccer, bobsleigh, basketball, archery, and more, and events athletes in the summer and winter games.

“Every outfit you see there has a theme, even boxing,” Camarillo said. “A lot of these outfits are made from plastics, papers, cans and reusable bags.”

Students recycle items year-round on campus, which pledged during the pandemic to eliminate all polystyrene use in its cafeterias. For the parade, students found items such as lunch bags from school or junk from around the house – inside kitchens or even garages – to provide the materials needed to participate in the centered fashion show. on waste.

“Kids are very creative,” Camarillo said. “Things they took from their room and so on, and they put it all together.”

The message of the day was to recycle.

“It’s also about how to take care of our environment,” Camarillo said, “how to plan for the future accordingly in a world of ever-increasing population, as well as how we hear about global warming. It raises awareness of how the things we throw away daily can be used to shelter and clothe us, and perhaps start a new industry.

“Believe it or not, some of the parents here recycle and have businesses where the recycling items provide other items to try to make a living from, and actually provide other industries and jobs for people in need. “

Earth Day, which was Friday, was an opportunity to revive the annual tradition, a program that raised funds for the school and educated students and their families about the environmental impact of the product recycling.

“When you use a plastic bottle, you have to recycle it, because in 39 days that plastic bottle will be on the shelf again (instead of a landfill),” Rose Timmer said, speaking during the event on behalf of Healthy Communities of Brownsville. “When you use a piece of paper, you should recycle it. It can be shredded and turned into more paper and helps save trees.”

Anything people can do to help the environment, whether it’s rivers, oceans or land, is appreciated in Brownsville, Timmer told the crowd.

“It’s very important that you recycle, reduce and reuse,” Timmer said. “And the best thing you can do is refuse. You can refuse that plastic bag. You can refuse the straw or the plastic forks and knives you get with your meals out. These are important steps.

“But you did your best,” she told the crowd. “You stopped the styrofoam from going to our landfill.”

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