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South Salt Lake Journal

We are change: SLCC combines sustainability with fashion in celebration of Earth Day

Jun 06, 2024 09:11AM ● By Jesse M. Gonzale

Amy Royer teaches textiles and sustainability at Salt Lake Community College, making her an integral part in organizing the school’s first ever Trashion Show on April 22. (Photo courtesy of Salt Lake Community College)

On April 22, Earth Day, Salt Lake City Community College’s Fashion Institute and Gender and Sexuality Student Resource Center at the South City Campus presented their first ever Trashion Show. The environmentally friendly fashion show was dedicated to bringing attention to the need for sustainable clothing in an industry that is one of the world’s largest polluters. 

Textiles and Sustainability professor Amy Royer facilitated the event, which is not her first time doing similar fashion shows. “Usually it is a smaller event with the Fashion Club or just my sustainability class. This was our first Earth Day at our new, beautiful location at South City Campus,” Royer said. “I thought it would be fun to utilize our new space and invite more people to see our talented students.”

In celebration of Earth Day, students recycled, upcycled, and repurposed clothing to display a unique, environmentally sound style. 

“The whole point of the event is to bring awareness to the issues in the fashion industry. We talked about people, planet and politics. First and foremost, as consumers, we need to buy less. If we have to buy something, buy it secondhand,” Royer said.

“As for our students, the future designers and producers in the fashion industry, they are learning the value of upcycling and slow fashion. When it comes to real systemic change, we need to focus on policies that protect people and the planet. The FABRIC Act and the fashion act are two such bills that have been read into legislation,” Royer said.

One of the acts Royer is referring to is the Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change (FABRIC) Act, a proposal aimed at revitalizing the garment industry and improving working conditions by combating factory violations and increasing transparency of brand practices. 

“Sustainability in not merely a trend but a fundamental principle that guides my approach to fashion. As consumers, we wield considerable power in shaping the industry’s practices,” said student designer Grant Woodland. “By consciously evaluating the impact of our purchases, we can advocate for ethical production, longevity and environmental responsibility.”

“For me, sustainability is about asking essential questions before making a purchase. Will this garment endure years of wear, or will it quickly become obsolete? Is the company behind this garment committed to ethical and ecofriendly practices, or do they prioritize fast fashion and its detrimental consequences? 

“By fostering a culture of sustainability, we pave the way for a fashion landscape that values craftsmanship, durability and environmental stewardship,” Woodland said. 

By asking these important questions and promoting a sustainable fashion show, the students and staff who conducted the Earth Day event hope to inspire others to rethink their choices before buying more and to get creative with the choices they already have.

“As I mentioned, I’ve been doing these shows for a while, but I brought in our Program Director, Mojdeh Sakaki, and Peter Moosman from the SLCC Gender and Sexuality Student Resource Center to help with marketing and organizing. They were a great help,” Royer said.

“I will continue doing them every semester with my students. I am hoping it will become an annual Earth Day event and grow in popularity each year.” λ