GCSE pupils, from Malone College, have been working with the Belfast Hills Partnership and Community Arts Partnership to raise awareness about the huge waste problem facing our countryside.
The Belfast Hill encounters ongoing illegal dumping and fly-tipping, with everything from tyres and furniture to cars and bin bags, creating a blot on the landscape. Last year over 250 tyres were dumped, overnight, at Local Nature Reserve, Slievenacloy alone. The Partnership estimates that up to 1.3 tonnes of legal landfill and illegal waste is disposed of in the Belfast Hills every year!
‘Trash Fashion’ is CAP’s ground-breaking eco-aware design project producing new fashion using recycled materials. It encourages participants to slash, shred, stencil, embroider, embellish, print and dye, deconstruct and metamorphose second hand clothing and litter, to create unique fashion pieces.
Our young people have created designs which incorporate various elements to reflect the outstanding beauty of the Hills landscape. The materials they have used include plastic bottles, discarded underfloor insulation, crisp bags and newspaper. The juxtaposition of nature vs man; woven together into catwalk clothing with a statement.
Jo Boylan, Youth Outreach Officer, for the Hills stated we are delighted that these young people have really stepped up to the challenge to make a statement about the state of our local environment”.
Jayne McBeigh, Art teacher at Malone College said “being involved in this project has been fantastic, our pupils have learned so much about the importance of looking after the environment and the impact of pollution.
The Belfast Hills Bright Future project is one of 31 Our Bright Future projects across the UK. Each one is equipping 11-24 year olds to make a difference in their local community and for the environment. Our Bright Future is a £33 million programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
Heather Douglas from CAP said “It’s fantastic to see new organisations coming on-board the Trash Fashion programme and recognising that there are so many creative ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s increasingly important for all of us that we find the means to be more ecologically aware and at the same time, promote skills and have fun. It makes a world of difference.”