A smiling, curly-haired model reclines in a chair wearing a recycled denim-heavy outfit atop colourful recycled materials.

Published on 15 February 2024

Sustainable fashion on show

Do you have a flair for fashion and a passion for the planet? It’s time to turn your imaginative designs into eco-chic masterpieces for McLaren Vale’s inaugural Recycled Runway.

Registrations are open now for Recycled Runway McLaren Vale, which challenges local designers and creatives to transform pre-loved clothes into catwalk-ready outfits, which will then be modelled at a fashion show at Wirra Wirra’s cellar door on 25 May.

The brainchild of the McLaren Vale Business and Tourism Association and She Sews, with support from the City of Onkaparinga (through an Environment and Sustainability Grant), the inaugural event aims to promote sustainability and raise awareness about responsible fashion choices.

Designers keen to participate in the event—either in the student or open round—must register by Wednesday 28 February ($20 for those who live in Onkaparinga, $40 for those outside the region).

Once registered, you can pick up your design kit containing five op-shop or unwanted garments from Friday 1 March, before getting to work on your sustainable masterpieces.

Models—who can be anyone, such as friends or family of the designers—will then take the outfits to the catwalk at the inaugural event, with prizes and recognition on offer for your innovative designs.

If you’re keen to contribute but don’t want to design or model outfits, you can donate pre-loved clothes at She Sews at 17 Liddiard Street, McLaren Vale, which will be included in the participants’ design kits.

Recycled Runway McLaren Vale organiser Megan Caldersmith said she loves working on community projects because she thinks it’s really important to bring people together.

"As a fashion designer and creative I’m appalled at the effect the fashion industry is having on our environment so it made sense to join my two passions together," she said.

"Recycled Runway illustrates this combination, drawing inspiration from similar successful initiatives like the long-standing Mount Gambier event, which inspiringly has been running for 20 years."