Top Mount Gambier event returns in style

The Recycled Runway 2021 will take its audience on a journey to Africa, with this year’s African Safari theme. The event, which won a state award for the Best Community Event, will be held on August 28 and is a fundraiser for Event Coordinator Trudy-Anne Doyle said the initiative aimed to raise awareness about sustainability and clothing waste in a fun and educational way and encourages people to recycle, reuse and re-purpose pre-loved clothing.

Recycled Runway contestants purchase a pre-packed bag of second-hand clothes and create a new, unique outfit using the garments. “They can deconstruct them, they can dye them, they can cut them up and do whatever they like and create a new outfit,” Ms Doyle said. The contestants have eight weeks to create their pieces, which will be modelled on a runway in the St Martins Lutheran College gymnasium.

Ms Doyle said creations did not have to correspond with the African Safari theme. “We love whatever they do,” she said. “It’s an event that has lots of positivity and no negativity.”

There are four runway categories including high school, open, novice and experienced. There are six prizes worth $100 each, including prizes for the winner of each runway category, the winner of the unmodelled category and the overall prize.

There is also a Battle of the Schools trophy and schools are encouraged to enter. Those entering the ‘unmodeled’ category can let their creativity run wild and craft an item to be exhibited.

Ms Doyle said people previously had created parasols, hats, quilts, cushion covers, table runners, a wall hanger and stuffed animals. “The crowd is enthusiastic for all creations, no matter the skill level,” she said. “We just want to embrace everyone’s efforts, everything is good, everyone’s a winner.”

Ms Doyle encouraged people to recycle and look second-hand. “You’ll be surprised how much fun you’ll have if you take up the challenge of buying nothing new,” she said. “I started about 10 years ago or more and I have never looked back.

“We do try to use what we get in the op-shop, but we’re swimming against the tide and the message is have a good think about what you’re doing with clothing.”

Ms Doyle said the unmodeled bags, runway bags and other garments would go on sale on June 5-6. Last year due to COVID, they hosted a drive-thru bag sale in the Anglican Church hall, which will likely occur again this year.

To express interest, visit the Recycled Runway Mount Gambier Facebook page or speak with Ms Doyle at the Anglican Belltower Op Shop on Saturdays, Mondays or Tuesdays.

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