Eco-chic hits the runway March 25 as RecycleMania 2011 continues

Model with dress and tote bag made from recycled Capri Sun drink pouchesSamaiya Mushtaq believes a commitment to sustainability can be a fashion statement. The SMU chemistry major is paving the way, via the catwalk, for the University’s first eco-fashion show. The event is set for 6 p.m. March 25 in SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Varsity Room.

The cost of admission is one recyclable item, such as a spent plastic bottle or aluminum can. The event is open to the community, and food will be provided.

Supporting the University’s competitive efforts in the nationwide RecycleMania 2011 contest, the event will showcase fashion designs featuring at least 75 percent reclaimed, recycled, natural and/or organic materials. Each design must be original, and no more than two designers may collaborate on a work. The winning designers will take home gift cards.

“We wanted to do something creative and fun that would add an entertaining twist to the idea of recycling and reusing,” says Mushtaq, whose studies in chemical recycling led her to become a student environmental representative on SMU’s Sustainability Committee. “We heard about a fashion show that took place in Dallas in December and saw its success on other campuses, so we thought it was perfect.”

Meanwhile, SMU’s sustainability team is issuing a new challenge: Which academic or athletic campus building can collect the most recyclables during the remainder of the RecycleMania competition? The battle of the buildings will run through April 2.

“This is the beginning of a new tradition,” says SMU Environmental Manager Eric English. The winner will receive a RecycleMania plaque during the 2011 President’s Picnic May 25.

“This would be a great time to do those office clean-outs you’ve been wanting to do,” English says. “Just do it!”

To stay competitive in RecycleMania, toss recyclables in their proper place. Put these “single-stream recyclables” in blue bins or containers lined with clear bags:

  • Books and magazines
  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Shrink-wrap
  • Milk jugs and plastic bottles
  • Newspapers
  • Phone books

The exception: Place corrugated cardboard boxes alongside the bins for each building’s custodian to compact or bale.

For more details on RecycleMania, visit Find more information about SMU’s recycling efforts online, or contact Eric English, 214-768-2163.

Written by Denise Gee

(Above, a dress and tote bag made from recycled drink pouches represent eco-chic at its most colorful.)

> Get the national and residence hall RecycleMania rankings from SMU News