Recycling is not really going to save us from extinction,
but at least it demonstrates that one is conscious of the unnecessary waste we all produce. Re-using rubbish may seem quaint now, but there is little doubt that with natural resources already over extracted, mining dumpsites will be the norm in future. Midlands youngsters are already set to make the most of discarded treasure.
Nearly 50 learners gathered for the Glam Green Occasion of the Season – the annual Dargle Trashion Show – last weekend. There were coffee cup ball gowns and feed bag suits, plastic packet shorts, and dog food frocks. The creativity was nothing short of astounding and everyone had a fabulous time.
Vice Prinipal, Antonia Mkhabela of Shea O’Connor Combined, was startled when she asked her learners to register for the Trashion Show and 63 put their names down! This school has an impressive environmental ethic and we were thrilled to host the 28 learners whose outfits had impressed Antonia the most.
Louis Bolton, Celebrity Photographer, had everyone pose before the show began – many of these photos are taken by him. Other photos by Lynne Garbutt and Nikki Brighton.
Girls and boys strutted their stuff on the ramp, created from farmyard fencing and bunting made from discarded magazines, on the lawn of Lion’s River Club.
Compere, Eidin Griffin drew attention the tiny details – the earrings, shoes, handbags and trims which may have gone unnoticed in the swirl of colour.
Maningi Duma (Grade 1 and Kings Primary) stole the show with her exhuberant pasta packet hat and sunny personality.
Celebrity Judges Trayci Tompkins, Andrea Abbot and Caro Richter were entranced and created lots categories to ensure that everyone was rewarded for their ingenuity.
There were The Dapper Lads, The Beautiful Babes and Junior Trash. Prizes were sponsored by Eyakho Green – who give new life to waste, turning advertising banners into bags and shoes and satchels. Meriel Mitchell made lots of pencil cases and shopping bags from fabric scraps too.
“What a wonderful event you created. I’m so glad I was there! I met wildly talented and just plain nice people and fell in love all over again with the creative and inventive creatures scattered around the Midlands,” enthused Caro Richter of the Meander Chronicle.
Mr Recycle, Spesihle Mchunu (Grade 10 Shea O’Connor School), was their choice for a special prize of a solar lantern for his exceptional costume, topped off with some impromptu dancing!
Ted Rayner and Sisi Mlalazi (Misty Meadows School) made a dashing couple.
Principal of Misty Meadows, Cassie Janisch said “We had an absolute ball at the Dargle Trashion Show. I think the effort made by all the participants was fantastic! We are already looking forward to next year… My boys have got some ideas for wire cars from watching the experts this morning.”
Zandile Sihkahane who facilitates the Sustainable School Programme in Impendle (supported by Dargle Conservancy) was completely inspired. “I wish to do the same thing in Impendle. I have shown the children how to make many things, like wallets, from rubbish, but getting them all together for a competition is a very good idea. We will be here next year.”
The joint Best Outfits in the Beautiful Babes category was worn by Ashley Nkosana (Grade 8) who had spent hours cutting old plastic bags into strips and weaving them into cloth, and Silindile Zigubu (Grade 11) who wore a tailored dress made of white sacks, decorated with fabric flowers retrieved from the rubbish bin, with bag and shoes to match.
Thandolethu Khanyile’s bottle top detail on her blouse and impressive hat earned her a couple of prizes in the accessories category.
Sbongile Ndlovu (Grade 12 at Shea O’Connor) works part time in the local tuck shop so collect all the discarded chip packets to turn into her frothy frock.
Akhona Mchunu had made a delicate parasol (that opened and closed) with discarded sticks and plastic. Really impressive.
Thenjiwe Ngcobo, Principal of Corrie Lynn Primary, said her children had enjoyed the gathering and had learnt a lot from seeing and hearing what the others had done. “Sharing ideas and skills encourages us all because everyone does things differently.”
Maureen Mabizela, Principal of Dargle Primary “There was such excitement at school on Monday with everyone sharing their stories. Thank you for inviting us to be part of such an adventurous educational brain development activity!”. One of the Dargle parents who attended, Thenjiwe Dangazela, said she was sorry that she had not participate before – we will certainly see her at the 2017 event!
Mr Dlamini a teacher at Shea O’Connor was delighted that his his kids were able to put classroom learning into action “The real way to learn!” he quipped. He couldn’t help doing an impromptu dance with little Thandolethu in Grade 3 in her winning outfit.
Dargle pupil, Nhlanhla Zuma, was very striking in his yellow ensemble. He had made a wire car too which had the ‘best steering’- earning him two prizes!
Winner of the most colourful AND fastest wire car was Kwandokuhle Ndlovu. Kwandokuhle was the uber cool designer behind many of the glamorous outfits too.
Judges Barry Downard and Iain Meyer decided that Brandon Chatilsa’s car was the most powerful 4×4. Jas and Lily Goodwin won the best economy class, Ayanda Mhlongo took the prize for the most technical and Lusanda Zuma got a special mention for his rear cooler box while Syamthanda Mkhize’s car had the best detail.
The Dargle Drag Race was a speedy affair! With Jesse Chantunya entering a Kings classmate, Wandisa’s, car as he couldn’t make it.
An actual recycled husband was spotted in the audience!
Iona and Luncinda Bate made masses of popcorn and oranges for all the participants to snack on. Iona commented “Huge congratulations, a huge success and such a great turn out. The outfits were amazing and it was gorgeous to see all the girls so proud in their dresses!” Pat Draper suggested to Shea O’Connor Principal, Nicholas Nxumalo, that he encourage everyone to wear Trashion to the Matric Dance rather than spending a fortune of buying an outfit.
When Antonia Mkhabela got home, her phone kept ringing with parents calling to thank her for organising the excursion for their children who had arrived home with huge smiles and lovely prizes “The parents were so excited, saying they did not think that trash could make such a huge impact. They told me that this has changed their perception about rubbish.” she reported with a grin.
Gerhard le Roux was pleased he had come along. “I my eyes they were all winners! They were really proud of their creations.It was great to see the excitement. What a fantastic project.”
Stylish Trayci Tompkins had great fun participating as a judge “The Trashion Show sure is bringing out the creativity in all! Loved seeing the different interpretations and use of recycled ‘waste’. This is an event that is growing into something quite special.”
Andrea Abbott, who wrote the Country Life article about last years show and really got the kids inspired when they saw their pictures published, has the last say “I enjoy myself immensely. The children are wonderful; so confident and creative yet not for a moment holding high opinions of themselves. I wonder if they have any notion of how good they are? To see their designs and talents is to be inspired. Looking forward to Trashion Show 2017!”
As much as 2700 litres of water is used to make a cotton t-shirt and even more to grow and manufacture a pair of jeans. With water becoming a scarce commodity, we should all be rethinking our wardrobes – before you toss a packet, cup, bag, roll, hanger or can.