Plastic waste struts its stuff on the Dow catwalk at K

Dow gave students an opportunity to create fantastic plastic couture

Exclusively for K 2016, Dow (Midland, MI) has teamed up with the UK-based Fashion & Arts School at Southampton Solent University to bring together a fashion show made entirely out of plastic.

Under the theme ‘FaceOfInnovation,’ which focuses on showcasing trends and innovation in the plastic industry, more than 30 students have been challenged to think outside of the box and create stylish, wearable garments, hair-pieces, make-up and accessories by reusing plastic materials.

Five unique runway shows showcased incredible garments and talent that this extraordinary collaboration has brought to life, every afternoon at 5pm on the Dow Stand in Hall 8a. Today is the last day to see this exciting collaboration.

“It is exciting to see how our students have adopted plastic materials and how it fuels their creativity,” said Sharon D. Lloyd, Course Leader at Southampton Solent University, in an interview with the university.

“Most of them are used to plastics as waste or as a by-product at best. Working and experimenting with plastic materials to design up-cycled couture, made them realize the inherent value of plastic and what you can create with it.”

Virginie Wengler, Communications Manager at Dow, is already impressed with what the students have achieved. She says: “The items on show are very inspiring, creative and innovative; I am overwhelmed with what has been presented by the lecturers and especially by the students. We can see the passion and real creativity that is behind the designs, which is why we chose Solent. The facilities at Solent are amazing—I would love to be a student again!”

Lily Thompson, who is one of the students that worked on creating the plastic couture said her and fellow student Charlotte Logue both have a passion for nature and wanted this to inspire their chosen design. During the first workshop, they started looking at natural forms and animals, playing around and making scales.

“The initial challenge was working out which plastics would be best suited to our creative design. Once we had done this, our idea developed and as it did, we ended up with a lizard/bird/manmade skin looking texture that has been amalgamated and developed into the finished look.”

Lily continued: “Using the off cuts, any leftover materials will also be used to make a second garment—which fits with the ethos of the whole project to ensure nothing goes to waste.”

The ‘FaceOfInnovation’ event is set to change the perception and demonstrate how plastic can be reused to serve other purposes. With sustainability at the heart of the idea, students have the opportunity to highlight through fashion, how plastic materials such as packaging, tape or consumer goods, can be transformed in to high value material that is appropriate for fashion.

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