The rustle of plastic bags and the swish of hessian accompanied models who demonstrated how stylish ordinary refuse items can be at the KZNSA Art Gallery on Tuesday, 27 November.

This was part of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s unique fashion show that formed part of a cocktail evening themed: Waste to Art.

UKZN engineering students strutted down the catwalk dressed in the most stylish and eco-friendly designs created out of recycled materials by final-year Durban University of Technology (DUT) fashion design colleagues.

The broader project behind the show, Waste to Art as a Means of Social Upliftment was the brainchild of Professor Cristina Trois, newly appointed South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Waste and Climate Change at UKZN.

“The event provided the opportunity to showcase local design talent and creative ideas to turn waste into a means of income generation, as well as providing a networking platform for the many role players in the waste and climate change, and local and foreign government sectors,” said Trois.

The project was run in conjunction with the international training seminar and summer school on Managing Waste as a Resource from 26-30 November at UKZN.

Other highlights of the evening included, a display of gowns made out of recycled materials by Grade 10 Maris Stella learners, Angela Shaw of the KZNSA Art Gallery speaking on the waste-inspired artwork made by local designers on show in the gallery; and Robin Opperman of the trendsetting Umcebo design house presenting a stunning mural of black manta rays made from plastic, bottles and wire.