Second hand not second best

Mount Gambier fashionistas were straight out of Africa on Saturday night as the city’s annual Recycled Runway roared into action.

The recycled fashion fiesta took on an African safari theme, transporting the audience on a journey to Africa.

The Anglican Church initiative donates all profits to to support foster care programs and people experiencing homelessness, while raising awareness about sustainability and reducing clothing waste.

Designers and their models showcased their creativity on the catwalk and wowed the crowd with an array of colours and designs on the runway inspired by the African theme.

Contestants had eight weeks to design and create an outfit using a bag of second-hand garments, prepared by event founder Trudy-Anne Doyle.

Ms Doyle said the event was a community effort and local businesses donated food, décor and lighting, raffle items, hampers, vouchers, sustainable packaging, wine and beer.

Ms Doyle said Recycled Runway committee members Leanne Dunn, Elzette and Elize Le Roux, Zena Reiner and Ashlee Kalantarian all worked hard to make the evening a success.

“I am already looking forward to next year,” she said.

Ms Kalantarian said the entrants had exceeded her expectations with their creations.

“They put a lot of detail into them and I think their skills have definitely grown as well,” she said.

Ms Kalantarian also encouraged people to think about their purchases and to buy items because they loved wearing them, rather than just fast fashion.

Saturday night’s creations were judged by Keith Hamilton and Jaelle Kimbutu, who admired the “well put together outfits”.

Category winners included Fransisaka in the novice category, Jenny Cox (open), Rebecca Yoannidis (experienced), Bella Berlin from Suttontown Primary School (high school or younger) and Amy Smith (people’s choice award).

Each winner received $100.

Fiona Harvey and Hayley Summers won the inaugural Ashlee Lauren Sustainability in Fashion Scholarship, scoring the chance to study a 
sustainability in fashion course 
with mentoring sessions.

Attendees enjoyed wine supplied by Patrick of Coonawarra, African themed food catered by committee members Ms le Roux and Ms Reiner and Henk’s Kitchen in Adelaide supplied African sausages.

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