On Saturday, Campus Lodge Apartments hosted Project GREENway Fashion Show, in which local students volunteered as models, showing off clothes and accessories made from recycled materials.
The show, which was held on the nationally recognized America Recycles Day, featured styles that ranged from purses made of candy wrappers to a vest and tie made from old issues of The Maneater.
Some of the clothing, such as Ethletic sneakers and Patagonia vests, were on loan from "eco-friendly" companies including Ecoist, Stay Vocal, Autonomie Project Inc. and Junk Mail Gems. Other items, such as bracelets made out of soda pop tabs and earrings created from beer bottle caps were made by local residents.
Some of the clothing was more practical than others for everyday wear.
Kendra Walter, a community ambassador at Campus Lodge and junior at MU, wore a dress she made out of birthday wrapping paper. She admitted that she only made it for a party she attended where everyone was supposed to wear something created from recycled materials.
Tiffany Toops, the assistant property manager at Campus Lodge and volunteer model, said she was going to look into purchasing some of the accessories.
"I would kill for this purse," she said as she held up the red purse weaved together with candy wrappers.
Toops sees this kind of fashion as something that may become more popular in the future.
"I can't wait until this catches on," she said.
Although the audience turnout was not as large as the organizers had hoped, a few of the models' friends and family still turned out for the event.
Additionally, one of the volunteers modeled a shirt from the University Bookstore that was made of organic cotton and recycled soda bottles.
Vineta Pritchard, property manager of Campus Lodge and organizer of the show, called herself a "big fan of the environment." She put the show together to inform people about the ways materials can be reused and recycled.
Pritchard moved to Columbia from Florida last February, where she said she also volunteered with "green" activities. Missouri, she said, appears to be extremely active when it comes to recycling.
"I really feel like this state has people that care about the environment," she said.
Unlike some other cities, the city of Columbia provides free recycling bins to its residents.
Julie Brown, a senior who attended the event, said using recycled materials could be beneficial to college students who do not have much spending money.
By reusing materials, she said, "we're saving money and the planet at the same time."
However, some of the featured materials do not come at a cheap price. An organic T-shirt from Autonomie costs $28, and popular candy-wrapper purses range from $80 to $188.
Companies such as Wal-Mart and Target are also becoming increasingly involved in going green.
The "Rehash your Trash" graphic tee Pritchard was wearing is sold at Wal-Mart and Target.
Pritchard hopes to organize an event similar to the fashion show on April 22 for Earth Day, in another attempt to teach students and Columbia residents about the effects their choices have on the environment.
Students are an important group of people to teach about the effects humans have on the environment, Pritchard said, but she also said students cannot be forced into living an environmentally conscious lifestyle.
"They have to realize their global footprint," she said.