Can you imagine wearing the same suit your dad wore for his 21st birthday to your school formal?
- Students at a regional Victorian school have put on a Recycled Dance after missing their year 10 formal due to COVID-19
- The students invented a thrifty theme to tackle fast fashion
- Young people are making the most of being together after two years of remote learning
In regional Victoria, some students have borrowed, swapped and op-shopped to make a statement about fast fashion and climate change.
After missing out on many school-age rites of passage through the pandemic, one school put on a dance with a difference.
Year 11 Emmanuel College students trawled through op shops, their parents’ and grandparents’ wardrobes, and swapped outfits for their first-ever Recycled Dance.
The thrifty theme invented by the students was also about tackling fast fashion, a growing threat to the environment.
One of the students behind the project, Paige Armistead, wore a green dress sourced from her mum’s wardrobe.
“After missing out on many events such as the year 10 formal due to COVID it was great to get back together as a year level and have some fun,” she said.
“We wanted to do a formal in a way that’s going to sustain our environment.
“From there we came up with the recycled theme. A lot of people buy stuff online, wear it once and don’t wear it again. We wanted to reduce waste and keep it sustainable.”
Kids embraced the frills of the ’60s and the fur coats of the ’70s, and one student wore the brown suit his father wore to his 21st birthday.
With the increasing costs of living impacting on families’ bottom lines, students also wanted to make the event more affordable.
“We had kids come in their parents’ suits and their moms’ dresses, it was really cool,” Paige said.
Young people have missed out on many coming-of-age events in the past two years of the pandemic, such as school formals, sporting carnivals, debutante balls and musicals.
But these students aren’t dwelling on what they’ve lost and are making the most of the time together they’ve yearned for.
“It was so good coming together after everything we’ve gone through, we’ve been so separated,” Paige said.
She said they hoped to continue the theme at their year 12 formal.
“We might see a few wedding dresses, who knows?”