By Holden Taylor
Photos courtesy of Holden Taylor
Upper School art students have recently started a new jewelry fusion unit focusing on recycling and sustainability. Using recycled plastic bags, wire, string, and jewelry items as a non-traditional artistic material, the students will make an avant-garde statement necklace.
Avant-garde fashion is described as being innovative and experimental with an over-the-top aesthetic that challenges mainstream culture. It is sometimes oversized and composed of contrasting textures, unorthodox materials, and exaggerated details.
To prepare for this project, Upper School art students examined the current use of plastic bag production and its consequential effects on the environment. Recycled fashion is a way of using products that might normally be put to waste, such as plastic bottles, nylon, polyester, and even old clothing, and turning them into art or fashion.
They began the unit with an introduction to avant-garde fashion and then researched selected avant-garde artists. After completing their research, they sketched their necklace design and are now completing their recycled fashion pieces.
Maggie Rosenblum (12) said, “This unit has taught me to be innovative with the materials I have, and that I can be creative in other aspects of my life and use everyday objects around me to create something beautiful.”
Many popular clothing brands, such as Patagonia, use recycled materials to make their clothing, saving energy and waste by using recycled polyester found on plastic soda bottles. These materials are used not only for style but also sustainability. Sustainability improves the quality of our lives, protects our ecosystem, and preserves natural resources for future generations.
Upper School art teacher, Mrs. Fletcher, said “One exciting thing about this sustainability unit is just helping to plant some ideas for thoughtful work as we are consuming supplies constantly in the art room. It also reminds us how we can make wise choices in our everyday lives.”
Since the 1990s, environmental challenges have become one of the world's most pressing concerns. While many elements contribute to the worsening of the climate disaster, some, such as plastic pollution, require more attention than others. 300 million tons of plastic are created each year, and about 50% is single-use only.
As consumers, we can help by recycling, using reusable products like bags and water bottles, and simply minimizing overall plastic use. Every modest effort can become a habit, and every little bit counts.
For & By Students
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