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Sustainable clothing in fashion at city school


Staff and students at St Aloysius College hit the runway last month to model vintage clothes and raise awareness about the importance of sustainable fashion.

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A fashion parade held in the school gymnasium featured 20 ‘models’ who wore items from an Op Shop that has been operated by the Justice and Mercy (JAM) group during Term 4.

JAM coordinator Clare Peterson said the initiative was a tangible way to show students the importance of reusing clothes, rather than buying new.

“The Op Shop is being run by staff and students and has been really successful,” she said.

“On the opening day we raised more than $1000 and have been averaging about $300 a week in sales ever since.

“It has also been wonderful that people in the school community have been so generous in donating so many good quality items.”

Open at lunchtimes for students and twice a week for the wider school community, the shop stocks vintage clothing, shoes, jewellery, homewares, cards and books suitable for children, teenagers, men and women.

Proceeds from sales will be donated to support Mercy works, such as the Adelaide Day Centre, as well as projects overseas.

Teacher Wendy Lacoon, who helps to run the shop, said the fashion parade was a fun way to show students how they can make a difference in reducing waste in the clothing industry.

“Through the fashion parade we wanted to show the importance of ‘slow’ fashion and getting the students to become aware of the impact they can have,” Wendy said.

Two of the models in the parade were Year 3 student Jarran and Charlotte, Year 9.

Jarran, who volunteers in the Op Shop some lunchtimes, said it had been good to learn more about the importance of recycling clothing.

“My mum and I found some blazers and jumpers to donate to the shop and surprisingly, they sold for $30,” she said.

Charlotte said she enjoyed “thrifting” (shopping at Op Shops) with her friends.

“Fast fashion is so cut-throat and so bad for the environment, but Op shopping is great for finding renewable and sustainable clothes,” she said.

Next year the college hopes to establish ‘repair workshops’ where students will be taught basic sewing skills so they can repair clothing, particularly their school uniforms. The college is also looking at a program to enable Year 12 students to donate their formal dresses for use by younger students.


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