Philippine designer makes gowns out of recycled trash

Philippine designer makes gowns out of recycled trash

Lenora Buenviaje has been making dresses out of waste materials for the past seven years and says wearing clothes made from such items as recycled newspapers, plastic wrapping and rice sacks can be both economical and fashionable.

Using a foot-operated sewing machine, the 51-year-old Philippine seamstress stitches and weaves plastics and other materials into inventive and fashionable frocks and gowns.

“The bubble wraps from delivery packages are nice looking and make for a good design, especially the black and white wraps. White wraps were good for making fairy or wedding gowns,” she said.

The dresses sell at $30 and $50 and are used for everything from debuts — a coming-of-age party for a woman’s 18th birthday – to weddings.

In Asia, there is plenty of waste material for Buenviaje to work with: About 80 percent of global ocean plastic is estimated to come from Asian rivers. “It’s important to recycle or utilise used materials so we can help our earth,” Buenviaje’s client Lalaine Alcalde said.

Buenviaje, who lives in Cainta, about 15 km (10 miles) east of Manila, said the recycled material used for each dress depended on what her clients were looking for.

Her gowns are sometimes used in beauty contests and pageants.

She hopes in-person fashion shows and competitions that were halted during the pandemic will soon resume as she aims to organise fashion events herself to showcase and inspire others to create clothing out of recycled materials. -gulfnews.com

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