Fashion is the No. 2 polluting industry in the world, an alarming fact cited regularly to emphasize the need to take action. It’s also the inspiration for a partnership between the Miami Fashion Institute (MFI) at Miami Dade College and sustainable fashion house EcoAlf. “Fashion is a cradle-to-grave industry, meaning something is made from scratch, sold to the consumer and then the industry doesn’t care what happens to it after that,” said Yashi Dadhich, Fashion Design II professor at MFI. “Now fashion and all other industries are looking at ways to transform that grave into the cradle for the next product.” To bring that lesson to the Fashion Design II class at MFI, students were put into groups – each tasked with creating a gym bag that adhered to EcoAlf’s values. In addition to skyping with the class to explain the company’s values and background, EcoAlf donated the fabric that students used to create the bags. The fabric was made from recycled fishing nets, an idea that inspired one group to represent it in their design. They took some of the fabric to the Makers Lab on Wolfson Campus and laser cut it to look like netting. The group’s members, Beatrice Rose, Alicia Finelli and Gabriela Jeane (a.k.a. BAG), created a design that represented the fabric’s origin and could flip inside out. “It was hard but interesting to combine our individual fashion styles with EcoAlf,” Rose said. Students were up for the challege and for working sustainably – a lesson that will prepare them for a future in fashion. “That’s where fashion is going,” said student James Young. “That’s what makes designers innovative today.” – BC
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