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Colgan High School students participating in the Wearable Art contest

Colgan High School Students Get a Second Chance to Show Off Wearable Art

Provided by American Disposal Services

Colgan High School students participating in the Wearable Art contest

Snow days are a time-honored tradition that are usually met with excitement and happiness. The prospects of an unexpected day off from school and the chance to have an old-fashioned snowball fight are preferred over a day spent inside the classroom. This, however, was not the case for a few students at Colgan High School. These fashion design students had been selected to compete in the Wearable Art category at the Off the Wall Art Competition presented by The Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas and Prince William County in January. These passionate students spent weeks meticulously designing, sewing, and altering their wearable art which highlighted recyclable products throughout each piece.

The day of the competition approached and their anticipation grew, but Mother Nature seemed to have different plans. An unexpected snow day was announced the morning before they were set to compete. Any happiness they felt about being off from school was overshadowed by a big problem. With the school closed, the students were unable to retrieve their artwork. They were crushed when they realized they would not be able to show off the designs they had worked so hard on. 

When American Disposal Services caught wind of the unfortunate situation, we sprang into action. “We feel it’s important to foster a passion for the environment within our youth. After all, they are our future.” says Kevin Edwards, General Manager of American Disposal Services. Taking our slogan “In Your Community – For Our Environment” seriously, we reached out to Colgan High School and proposed a solution. We offered our Recycling Center as the location where the students could hold their own competition. Working closely with school officials, American Disposal Services took special care to plan this event by gathering judges, a runway, lights, and music to ensure that these teens received the full experience. To round it all off, the winner would receive a professional photoshoot with TriVision Studios, Chantilly, to give them an opportunity to start their career with their own portfolio. And so, American’s Next Top Recycling Designer was born.

These nine talented students ruled the runway in beautiful ensembles made with textiles, plastic bags, newspaper, cardboard, and any other recycling they could find. Flowing skirts and dresses reminiscent of the styles of top designers left the audience speechless except for the gasps and awes that circled through the crowd.  The four judges, members of our local community, each of whom had a background in recycling, art, or fashion, carefully chose the winner. The remaining participants were undeterred, happy and proud to have been able to show off their creations no matter who won.

These gifted students managed to create stunning works of art while keeping the heart of recycling at the forefront. Astonishingly, we are seeing more and more young people pick up the gauntlet and move to the frontlines of environmental awareness. American Disposal Services is committed to giving our community the support it needs in this endeavor. Whether that means handing out literature or giving young people the competition that they missed, we will continue to assist in any way possible.

Yulissa Silva-Avila, first prize winner

Congratulations to Yulissa Silva-Avila, first prize winner of a One-Hour Professional Photo Shoot sponsored by TriVision Studios and American’s Next Top Recycle Designer.

Yulissa created her dress using an old bed sheet for inner layering and a sheer curtain for the exterior. She added dimension to the design by creating a corset back coupled with a beige ribbon. The design included toilet paper flowers as accents and was finished using hand-stitching techniques.

Abbi-Gayle Griffiths, second prize winner of a $100 Visa Gift Card sponsored by American Disposal Services.

Abbi-Gayle’s dress was made of recycled paper grocery bags and fastened together using staples and tape. It was painted with gold spray paint and finished off with gold accents.

Jayln Davidson, third prize winner of a $50 Visa Gift Card sponsored by American Disposal Services.

Jayln created a two-piece dress with a sweetheart neckline and full skirt. The bell-shaped skirt accentuated the waistline and flared at the bottom. It was fabricated using newspaper and tape with an elastic waistband. The top was also made from newspaper and was coupled with a corset back fastened with Velcro. To finish the look, the dress was spray-painted gold.

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