Plastic in all shapes and sizes, paper with different textures and material scraps were all incorporated in this year’s annual Liberty Promenade Generation Green Recycled Fashion Show in which 12 primary schools and five high schools coupled their fashion statements with their social messages speaking out against substance abuse.
Each school had two representatives on stage at the shopping centre – one modelling the recycled outfit and the other carrying a poster with a slogan reinforcing the message that “drugs is trash.”
More than 60 Mitchell’s Plain schools were invited to participate but the first schools to register were selected and had five pupils to select the recycled materials and design their outfits.
Grade 7 pupil Chazrick Jacobs, from Liesbeeck Primary School in Portland, said drugs are a reality and “we are all affected”.
Speaking to the judges he said their school has pledged to lend a helping hand. “We will lend a helping hand. We will reach out a hand. We will shake hands and dirty our hands,” said Chazrick.
He said dirtying one’s hands could be literal and figurative – like the pupils dirtied their hands in making the garment and the example of poking one’s nose in other people’s business to help them.
“We do it because we care,” he said.
Chazrick said hands should be used to reach out to someone, offer help and boost emotions.
Ayesha Williams, from Eisleben Primary School in Rocklands, said they were against drugs because it destroyed lives and communities. “It messes up families and ruins your self-respect. Be smart. Don’t start,” she said.
Oval North High School pupils made a jumpsuit of plastic refuse bags in the Beacon Valley school’s uniform colours.
Oval North speaker Jade Keyster said for several decades drugs have been a major problem. “There have been escalating costs in the war against drugs and countless rands spend on rehabilitation but the problem still exists.”
She said their school had decided to stop being slaves to substance abuse. “We as youth must take back our authority to reclaim our identity by saying no to substance abuse and we have adopted #countertheculture,” said Jade.
Liberty Promenade partnered with the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre (CTDCC), in the hope to raise awareness about the harm of drug addiction and its effects on individuals and their communities.
CTDCC will have a stand at the Promenade mall until mid-September.
Speaking to the Plainsman after the show, Ashley Potts, director of CTDCC, said: “It is a brilliant initiative”.