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Transforming Waste into Fashion: Auckland Students Redefining Sustainability

2022 secondary school winner, Casey Ferguson, models her entry, ‘The Witches Garden’
2022 secondary school winner, Casey Ferguson, models her entry, ‘The Witches Garden’

Auckland's young artists and designers are making a bold statement on sustainability as they transform waste materials into breath-taking works of art for the highly anticipated Eye on Nature Wearable Arts Fashion Show.

Hosted by the Beautification Trust, the annual competition invites primary and secondary school students from across Auckland to design and construct eco-friendly wearable art, vying for a prize pool of $3,500 for their schools.

This year's theme, ‘Waste’, challenges students to creatively address the urgent issue of waste and its impact on the environment. Through their artistic creations, the students will convey powerful statements about over-consumption, fast fashion and pollution.

According to the UN Environment Programme, the equivalent of one rubbish truck of textiles is burned or landfilled every second. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. [1]

"The fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment, and the Eye on Nature Wearable Arts Fashion Show provides a creative platform for our young people to reimagine sustainable fashion,” said Sterling Ruwhiu, Community Programmes Manager of the Beautification Trust.

The Eye on Nature Wearable Arts Fashion Show not only showcases the students' incredible artistic talent, but also encourages critical thinking about material sourcing, recyclability, and decomposition. By considering the entire life cycle of their creations, students learn through hands-on experience about sustainable choices and responsible consumption.

“By transforming waste materials into stunning wearable art, these tamariki and rangatahi are inspiring us all think differently about fashion consumption and get innovative with waste,” said Ruwhiu.

Taking place at the Due Drop Events Centre in Manukau on Thursday 22 June, the Eye on Nature Wearable Arts Fashion Show promises an unforgettable evening filled with awe-inspiring fashion creations, innovative designs, and a celebration of sustainability.

Tickets start from just $10. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit

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