Paper or fashion?

Paper or fashion?

Story by Michelle Enger

Eau Claire may not be the fashion capital of the world, but tonight, the Towers Hall common room will transform into the fashion capital of campus.

In celebration of Earth Week, Housing and Residence Life will host the second annual Just Bag It fashion show tonight.

Models dressed in costumes made of recycled and repurposed material will compete for the grand prize of two Smart Strips in every room of the winning designer’s resident hall. These strips reduce energy consumption by stopping energy from being pulled from electronic devices when they are turned off.

“(We want) to draw attention of the students to the importance of recycling and repurposing materials,” said Kate Hartsel, housing sustainability coordinator. “We are trying to create a culture of sustainability in housing.”

The Residence Hall Association will have a plastic bag display at the free event.  On average, a person uses 500 bags each year, Hartsel said.  RHA will show what 500 bags looks like and answer questions about it at the fashion show.

Freshman Tara Young will represent Towers as a designer and model in the fashion show. Young is excited to show her creativity at the show, creating her costume with items including a broken umbrella, plastic bags, lint sheets, bottle caps and an electrical cord.

Young said she thinks the fashion show will be a great way to show students they don’t have to throw things away when they’re done using them.

“Whether or not people recycled or reused things at home, we are a pretty big community right here on campus,” Young said.  “If we didn’t recycle or do anything for the environment that is a lot of waste.”

Young said the subject of sustainability is especially important to her, because she has witnessed trash being thrown out car windows in the ditches and on the roads. Young said she lives in an area with lots of nature and does not want to see it disappear for future generations.

Students attending the event will receive reusable cloth shopping bags.  They will also have the opportunity to sign a green pledge.  It could be something as little as taking a shorter shower, but any pledge is welcome and encouraged, according to event organizers.

Freshman Bailey Kramer said she put forth a lot of effort  since December, when she began to ask for donations for prizes for the event.

“It’s something fun you can do with all the halls,” she said, “and you get free stuff.”