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Allie Whitley's dress, inspired by Taylor Swift (photo by Allen Wallace)
The University of South Carolina hosted a night of fashion Thursday, but what made this runway show unusual was the materials used to make the outfits.
Sustainable Carolina and the USC Fashion Board teamed up to present the second annual “Reclaimed Runway,” a fashion show featuring outfits made entirely of recycled materials, created by students from USC and Midlands Tech.
USC freshman Anne Coleman took home first place in the competition with her dress made of plastic bottles and plates. Coleman said she worked on the dress for more than a month after hearing about the event. She had designed a pageant dress in the past — out of more regular materials — but she said this was an entirely new challenge.
“The hardest part was cutting all the pieces in my tiny dorm room,” she said.
Sarah Grier Thompson, who modeled the winning dress, said it was surprisingly comfortable given the materials.
Sustainable Carolina, a student-led organization devoted to making the USC campus greener, sponsored the event on its own last year, but this year organizers Matt Burke and Brittany White asked the Fashion Board to collaborate. White said the combination made this year’s event much bigger than last year’s and definitely better.
“It really helped it go to the next level,” she said. The Green Quad amphitheater was full for the event.
Fashion Board President Brittany Terry said her organization had been planning a show with a similar theme, so the request to work with Sustainable Carolina was a great fit.
Reclaimed Runway was part of a series of Sustainability Week events on campus. It was open to all students at USC and Midlands Tech, which was another new addition this year, and the only rule was that the garments be made of recycled materials. Fourteen individuals and groups entered, with 13 female models and one male.
More information on Sustainable Carolina can be found on the organization’s website.