Metro Vancouver Close Up – Rethinking Waste and Recycling Fashion with Wearable Art in Port Moody

Metro Vancouver Close Up logoMetro Vancouver’s goal is to increase recycling to 80 percent by 2020, and by re-thinking what we call waste, that goal comes in sight. Port Moody Arts Centre is re-thinking fashion by including a recycling category in its world-famous Wearable Art show.

Black wrap dressA crowd gathered recently at the Port Moody Arts Centre to celebrate the opening of a unique exhibit featuring wearable art. The exhibit included 54 pieces from artists from as far away as Australia. Most of the dresses and accessories are made from recycled materials. This dress, for instance, is made of ‘black wrap’ – a metal foil commonly used by electricians in the film industry.

“We had an excess of black wrap from a film we had just shot at our house,” explains artist Nicole Robson. ” And I thought I think I can do something with this. I started to make circular shapes, made them, into little triangles and then added them together and I thought, ok, I could make some sort of form out of this.”

Prizes Awarded in 4 Categories

ann kitchingThe wearable art contest is the brainchild of Ann Kitching, who started what’s now become a signature event at the Port Moody Arts Centre, with prizes awarded in four categories, including recycling.

“Throughout the world, we’re trying to get everything recycled,” says Kitching. “We always have recycling in. I think that a lot of what you see here tonight may be labelled as nature but in actual fact it’s recycling, because most of the materials have been used for something else.

“The recycling part is very important,” adds Robson “Obviously all that stuff would have gone into the landfill, and to be able to use it again for a piece of art is great.”

$7500 in prize money was handed out, including a $750 award for the best student entry, an amount that was sponsored by the City of Port Moody.

Connecting the Arts to Sustainability

“It brings together what we believe in in Port Moody,” says City of Port Moody mayor Mike Clay. “Which is the arts and our outstanding recycling programs and our sustainability programs, so being able to tie those things together in the city of the arts is great.”

The contest included a live fashion show, where arts patrons were able to see these pieces come to life, modeled by local dancers. According to Clay, the impact on public thinking is a key benefit of the event.

“I think it really does get people thinking generally about how we can do things differently than just piling up the trash.”

Want to watch even more Metro Vancouver videos, including coverage of local issues, public service announcements, and our popular seminars such as the Zero Waste Conference? Check out our new and improved Video Gallery with a searchable index of hundreds of videos.

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