Ms. Zou series continues with Sustainable Fashion workshop

The workshop taught attendees how to 'greenify' on a budget.

MU’s Women’s Center collaborated with the Craft Studio on Thursday to host a segment of its Ms. Zou series called Sustainable Fashion. The goal of the event was to educate attendees on ways to “greenify” their closets on a budget, using a hands-on DIY activity.

Event Coordinator Suzy Day said the goal of the workshop was for everyone to leave with a usable skill. She said she did not expect such a large turnout. Nearly 50 women gathered at the Women’s Center to hear about ways they can make their closets more sustainable.

Senior Jasmine Stocking, a textile and apparel management major, led the event with a PowerPoint to familiarize everyone with the basics of sustainable fashion, common terms and popular topics concerning eco-friendly threads.

Stocking then introduced the group to the concept of “up-cycling” clothes, or as her presentation stated, finding a new use for the old. She gave simple suggestions such as turning a T-shirt into a handbag, necklace or headband and converting a sweater into a tubular scarf.

In order to improve one’s up-cycling abilities, Stocking recommended sewing classes held throughout the year at the Craft Studio beginning Sept. 29.

Stocking said there might be people out there who could find use out of others' used clothing. She advised donating to Goodwill or textile collections, swapping clothes with friends and family and selling clothes to consignment stores such as Columbia’s Blackberry Exchange.

Following the presentation, Stocking gave a tutorial on turning a T-shirt into a headband, handbag or necklace, all of which only required scissors. The attendees, who were told to bring an old T-shirt to the event, split up and went to work up-cycling their old threads. T-shirts of many sizes and colors donated to the Craft Studio were also available for use.

With fabric, beads and feathers flying everywhere, the Women’s Center transformed into a scene from “Project Runway.” Participants exchanged shreds of their T-shirts to make multicolored up-cycled masterpieces.

Ms. Zou’s mission is to provide a place for people to learn about topics not taught in a typical classroom.

“I realized that students have a limited amount of time and they want a takeaway,” Day said. “I know a lot of people who don’t have time to go to events where they learn something ‘philosophical,’ they want to have an actual skill.”

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