Some Ohio State students opted to strut their old, vintage stuff down a runway in support of sustainability, rather than flaunting an outfit with the tags just cut off.
Nourish International, an OSU student organization, held its first ever “Strut Your Stuff To Save Lives – A Thrift Store Fashion Show” Saturday at the MidWest Fair Trade Fest presented by Global Gallery, at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.
Ashley Betlejewski, a second-year in marketing and coordinator for the fashion show, said Nourish International focuses on sustainability.
“Nourish International is a group of students that are working to eradicate poverty in developing areas,” Betlejewski said. “We focus on sustainable solutions for developing areas.”
Proceeds from the fashion show went toward Nourish International’s summer trip to Uganda.
“This summer we are going to Uganda, Africa, and we’re going to educate the people that live there on health, like prenatal and postnatal care, just how to deal with people who are ill there, train doctors and we’re also going to build sanitary latrines,” Betlejewski said. “We focus on not just coming in and doing free work and then leaving, but we try to emphasize coming in and doing something that can last and they can keep on doing.”
Models were responsible for coordinating their own themed outfits and judges deemed three of the 15 contestants as favorite, fan favorite and the model who best embodied their theme.
“The fashion show is emphasized on students creating their own looks,” Betlejewski said. “It can be whatever they want, it just needs to reflect sustainability and fashion. … We think that reusing clothing is important and it really allows someone to express themselves with maybe something they found that was vintage.”
Vintage or not, model Harry Cekovich, a second-year in civil engineering, represented sustainability with his theme, Tropicana, wearing swim gear he already owned and a lei.
Emily Norris, a first-year in strategic communication, said she chose to model in the show because she liked the theme idea. Norris dressed as Rosie the Riveter, an American icon that represents women who worked in factories during World War II.
“I got an email from someone in my communication class and I thought it would be fun, and I really like dressing up in themes and everything,” Norris said. “I wish Halloween happened more often so I could dress up like this.”
Norris won the fan favorite award for her outfit. The judges’ favorite was a glitter-themed model who wore a glitter shirt, skirt and heels.
The award for model who best embodied their theme went to Sarah Mutchler, a third-year in art education, whose theme was Yesterday’s News. Mutchler wore a shirt with newspaper designs, red skinny jeans, and accessories made out of newspaper, including a hair bow and scarf.
Kelly Decker, public relations director for “Scarlette/Grey”, Ohio State’s first fashion magazine, according to its website, was one of three judges for the fashion show. Decker said she enjoys seeing the different events happening on campus and the fashion show made for a great opportunity to do so.
“I like to get out and see what everybody on campus is doing,” Decker said. “I just really appreciate people who do stuff like that and want to get out and do something different.”
Decker said she also liked that the show made more people aware of Fair Trade.
“I think it was a really good idea that they had this fashion show,” Decker said. “It’s a way they can get more people involved, get more people aware of Fair Trade and everything like that. I was just excited to be here it was a lot of fun, I had a great time.”
Since models were responsible for their outfits, the show was put on at no monetary cost for Nourish International.
“Our cost was volunteering and helping out at the events,” Betlejewski said. “I think it’s been a great way to kind of get Nourish’s presence out in the fair trade and cultural community because that’s really what we represent.”