Making a fashion statement against bullying

Alpine Primary School pupils, model Yushra Jones,11, and designer Kay Johnson.

School pupils put on their thinking caps to produce fashion from recycled materials for the Generation Green Recycled Fashion Show last Saturday.

Twelve primary and four high schools from Mitchell’s Plain took part in the event organised by Liberty Promenade shopping centre. The pupils had to design a superhero-inspired garment from recycled materials.

The theme of the event was “Stop bullying” and pupils also had to create a poster to raise awareness about bullying at schools.

Liberty Promenade general manager, Dorothea Wright said the aim of the annual event was to encourage and educate pupils about the importance of recycling.

She said some schools chose to design their own superhero specific to their school.

“Creativity abounded in the form of capes made from CDs and black rubbish bags, wire net skirts and outfits made of discarded washing powder and potato chip packets,” said Ms Wright.

She said the fashion show competition has become a much loved staple at the shopping centre and each year included a social message separate to the annual recycling theme.

“Bullying is a scourge on young children who are especially vulnerable to the effects of harsh and unkind words from their peers. Parents can do a lot to intervene but ultimately children need to learn to recognise and reject bullying from as young an age as possible,” said Ms Wright.

Each school was represented by two pupils on stage with one modelling the recycled outfit and the other carrying a poster with a slogan representing the school’s anti-bullying message.

“Learners were given a chance to elaborate on their thinking in creating their recycled outfit and to explain what they have learned from the project,” said Ms Wright.

Grade 5 Alpine Primary School pupil Kay Johnson, 12,used paper and bottles to design her outfit. “I used bright colours to make it more attractive and capture the audience.

“My motto is ‘stand up against the bullies’,” said Kay, who added that they didn’t do it alone as it was a team effort.

Woodville Primary School won R20 000 in the primary school category, while Mondale High School took first place and R20 000 in the high school category and Cedar High School won R10 000 as a runner up.

Woodville Primary School teacher Colleen Europa said they worked very hard for the competition. “Bullying has to stop. People are getting bullied everyday, even educators are bullied by society and learners on a daily basis,” said Ms Europa.