A generation goes green

2016-08-23 06:00
Participants from various primary schools at the Generation Green Recycled Fashion Show.

Participants from various primary schools at the Generation Green Recycled Fashion Show.

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Talented young designers from schools across Mitchell’s Plain converged at Liberty Promenade Shopping Centre to participate in the annual Generation Green Recycled Fashion Show.

On Saturday 20 August at 12:00, 18 primary and high schools showed off their creations with the important message: “drugs (are) trash”.

The centre’s annual show saw the schools going head-to-head in a competitive fashion show featuring unique outfits designed by the schools themselves, with the caveat that they had to incorporate recycled materials in their design.

“The benefit of the annual recycling stipulation means that learners are encouraged to be resourceful in their re-use of discarded materials, and we hope will begin to seek ways of recycling waste,” says Dorothea Wright, General Manager for Liberty Promenade.

“The ‘Drugs (are) Trash’ social message reaches a pertinent audience.”

Social messageThe fashion show competition has become a much-loved staple at Liberty Promenade, and each year includes a social message separate to the annual recycling theme.

This year’s theme, ‘Drugs (are) Trash’, was selected to raise awareness of the harm that drug addiction can cause to individuals and to the community as a whole.

Partnering on the event for the first time this year is the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre (CTDCC).

Ashley Potts, director of the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre says they got involved with the initiative on the basis that they are a treatment agent based in Mitchell’s Plain.

“We wanted to ensure that the message was clear because a misguided message can be detrimental to those affected by substance abuse and the audience,” says Potts.

“We wanted to make sure that people know help is available. “

Wright says: “Drugs can have a devastating effect on the individual, families, communities and societies, and we think it’s important to get this message out at school-level, while learners are still crafting their worldview. The idea behind partnering with the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre and having them at the event is to make it easier for those who need help, to get it.

“The message behind this year’s social responsibility campaign component is that drugs are a social illness. Research shows that 47% of 12- to 20-year-olds at school in South Africa use drugs, which is a statistic that we cannot afford to ignore.”

The CTDCC also had an exhibit available where they explained the services offered and made other information available and the stand will be available until the end of September.

“This helped us show that asking for help is not shameful and requesting help dealing with this illness is possible,” says Potts.

The packed audience received the initiative well says Potts.

“It was phenomenal,” says Potts.

“There is no words to describe the energy. It was so full that people who wanted to pass couldn’t and the message was very well received. We were worried about the content but the audience were very open and receptive.”

Learning experience

Each school selected two learners to represent them on stage, with one modelling the recycled outfit and the other carrying a poster with a slogan representing the school’s stance on the ‘Drugs (are) Trash’ theme.

Learners were also given a chance on-stage to elaborate on their thinking in creating their recycled outfit, and to explain what they have learned from the project.

“Seeing young children on primary and high school level showing such a clear sense of substance abuse and not only an understanding of the illness but also showing willingness to help those suffering was music to my ears.

“It was also great to see that they will not allow substance abusers to penetrate their circles,” says Potts.

A panel of judges evaluated each design at the show based on the outfit’s design elements, construction and visual impact, as well as overall presentation by the school and their anti-drug message.

With the fashion show now complete, Liberty Promenade shoppers are being given a chance to vote for their favourite outfit via SMS and through the centre’s Facebook page.

The result of the shoppers’ votes will be added to the judges’ scores to determine the winning schools.

The primary and high schools with the highest votes will each receive R20 000, to be used towards improvements and refurbishments at their school.

The school with the third highest votes (either primary or high) will receive R10 000.

Team workManagement at Liberty Promenade invited more than 60 schools in Mitchell’s Plain to participate, and the first schools to register were selected.

Each school formed a design team of five learners who work together to select the recycled materials and design their outfits.

Potts says the event was a huge success.

“A big thank you to the organisers of the event. This was a great initiative but it has a limited effect. If we can have corporates involved in helping us run workshops it will be huge.

“We are currently running workshops in Atlantis in conjunction with a company there. We already discussed with the Promenade but need backing from businesses. We will provide dedicated professional staff to run the workshops and it will be great,” says Potts.

V For more information on the CTDCC and treatment call 021 397 0103 or visit their offices in Civet Street, Eastridge.

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