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Pacific’s Green Fashion Show puts sustainability center stage

What do gloves, origami, face masks and hula hoops all have in common? They were all materials used to design pieces in last week’s 11th Annual Green Fashion Show hosted by Sustaining Pacific, the engagement arm of Pacific’s Sustainability Office.

Fashionable, affordable and sustainable

The theme for this year’s fashion show was “Into the Wild.” It featured 23 designs that were created and modeled by Pacific students and members of the Stockton community. Jessica Bilecki, director of sustainability at Pacific, hopes the event helps raise awareness about fast fashion and the environment.

“We want to find a fun way to show that clothes can be fashionable, while still being affordable and good for the planet,” Bilecki said. “We want people to start thinking about what our clothing is made of, where it’s made and how it’s made.”

Designers entered their work under thrift or upcycle categories. Additional outfits designed by Puffy’s Thrift Mercantile and sustainably purchased aprons representing the Ted and Chris Robb Garden were modeled, too. Each piece had its own story, and designers drew inspiration from a variety of sources.

Inspirations behind the designs

Mimi Lee designed two outfits modeled by her friends, Antonia Peters and William Pham. “Sanctus” and “Memento Mori” were inspired by Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Her upcycled gothic designs used face masks, hula hoops, duct tape and old tablecloths. 

“With these pieces, I wanted people to understand the beauty of Catholicism,” Lee said. “I also wanted to promote Pacific’s Catholic club (@catholictigers on Instagram) that we’re all members of.”

The Origami Club was another Pacific club that participated in the event. Their design called, “Kaminokawa – The Paper River,” was modeled by Ashley Wen. This unique dress, with a train, was entirely made of paper and featured origami animals and flowers scattered throughout. The finishing touch was a matching umbrella with orange and white koi fish painted on top. The Origami Club’s dress won the Popular Vote category.

Other winners of the night included Alyssa Gonzales’s “Hip Hugger Suit,” Laura Heller’s “Wild Flower” and Kari Orejel Ochoa’s “Still Fingering It Out.” Designs ranged from elegant gowns  to a mid-runway outfit change that revealed a butterfly-inspired piece to self-quilted jeans to a mushroom hat and more. 

In addition to the fashion show, the event also featured a buffet of plant-based foods, a raffle, various eco-friendly organization booths and a performance by HINAGIRL.

More ways to get involved with Sustaining Pacific

If you are interested in participating in next year’s event, Bilecki recommends subscribing to Sustaining Pacific’s newsletter and watching for the sign-up sheets ahead of time. “We always do a call for models, designers and planning committee members well before the fashion show and encourage everyone to come out,” Bilecki said. You can also follow Sustaining Pacific on Instagram (@sustaining_pacific) for updates on events and giveaways.

Here are Sustaining Pacific’s events for Sustainability Month

April 14: 4-6 p.m.

T-Shirt Tote Bag Workshop at William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center

April 17: 5 p.m.

An Evening with Kristy Drutman in the DUC Ballroom 

April 21: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sustainability Fair and Clothing Swap on the DUC lawn

I hope to see you there! 

PS: If you can’t make it, but still want to get involved, do not worry. There are many opportunities to volunteer, donate or become a member of the Green Team. Check out its Linktree on Instagram or website for more information.

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