Nigeria: Teens upcycle waste in modern fashion show

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What would you usually do with your old newspapers, carrier bags and Capri-Sun juice packs?

For most people, the answer is throw them in the trash – but not one Nigerian conservation group, who teamed up with young activists and models to turn the trash into “garbage.”

The show aimed to encourage recycling and promote sustainable fashion.

According to the United Nations, fashion is currently responsible for up to 10% of global CO2 emissions.

Greenfingers Wildlife Conservation has been leading community cleanups in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, since 2012.

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But on Saturday, they turned their attention to the catwalk and created a show as a new way to advocate for waste reduction.

Chinedu Mogbo, founder of Greenfingers Wildlife Conservation, said there was not enough education on pollution and climate issues and events like the trashion show were the perfect vehicle to entertain and educate.

“We want young people to be a part of the advocacy for life on land and in water,” explains Mogbo, who has already set a goal to recycle as much plastic as possible “one community at a time.”

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A bag that was once used to carry groceries has now been transformed into a fashionable piece of clothing

But recycling is not easy in Nigeria: waste management and waste disposal are concerns, as waste is often collected at one point and discharged at another, meaning it is not disposed of in an effective manner.

So the garbage show was a way to take its garbage collections “a step further” and reuse some of the garbage that “hadn’t been recycled before,” he said.

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Chinedu believes that “Nigeria’s priority is to use oil”, and the idea of ​​”sustainability is gradually gaining ground”.

The trash — which was collected during the group’s regular garbage cleanups at drainage ditches, beaches, and in communities — eventually found its way onto the runway as part of the show.

Model posing on runway in black plastic bag dress.

According to Greenfingers Wildlife Conservation, Nigeria is losing its biodiversity at an alarming rate

And it seems those who participated were inspired by the looks they created.

“I’ve decided to take part in this year’s show because I really want to make a change[…] we can see that we are all affected by climate change, so I really want to make a difference,” said 16-year-old model, Nethaniel Edegwa.

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