Year 9 students are taking part in an ‘upcycling’ project giving unloved garments and materials a new lease of life. The most original ideas from the two-week long task will be displayed as part of the ‘Greener Northamptonshire’ exhibition in March.
The initiative was launched by Heather Marsden, team leader of the Northamptonshire Waste Education team, who spoke about the need to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ resources.
Seven secondary schools in the county are taking part and the best from each school will be displayed at the Guildhall in Northampton on 2nd March, with each of the exhibits including details on how they were created so that recycling ideas can be shared and promoted.
Ms Marsden showed students examples of fleece material and thread made from plastic and jewellery and accessories made from forks, ring pulls from cans and plastic drinks pouches.
She highlighted the environmental impact of landfill and said that drinks cans can take 500 years to disintegrate, plastic bottles can take thousands of years to disappear while glass bottles will never break down naturally: ‘They are all made from resources, have taken energy to make and once you put them in landfill they are forgotten about, you have lost that very important aluminium, plastic and glass.
‘We want you to think about upcycling and creating accessories from rubbish. You could change jeans into hot pants or a skirt or you could make accessories. Create your product and take some pictures of the process that you have gone through. It is about sharing ideas, thinking about being sustainable and having fun with fashion.’
DT teacher Miss Moore told the students: ‘We must always be thinking about sustainability and recycling. If you to into fashion or textiles you can genuinely make a real difference to this world with zero waste patterns and other creative textile techniques.’
The project is part of a series of ‘taster sessions’ being run by the Design Technology department that enables students to try subjects before choosing their options. Other tasks include engineering, construction and architecture and a focus on using smart materials.