Hackney girls strut their stuff on the catwalk

Hackney pupils make eco-friendly clothes for a “green” fashion show

Hackney school gals strutted their stuff last Thursday night (December 2), wearing clothes they had made out of recycled material for an eco-fashion show.

The young ladies from Stoke Newington High School in Clissold Road, Horizon School in Wordsworth Road and Hackney Free and Parochial Secondary School in Paragon Road took to the catwalk in Stoke Newington Town Hall in Church Street.

The Hackney Re-Made project was designed to show how being green can be fun, fashionable and hassle-free.

Lyla Patel, head of education at fashion-recycling charity TRAID, which helped organized the event, said: “In the run up to the awards, we’ve been working with schools in Hackney to shrink their fashion footprint by up-cycling unwanted textiles into beautiful one-off pieces.

“Young people are the best and most enthusiastic advocates of living more sustainably and it’s fantastic to see their ethically fashioned creations on the catwalk.”

The show was part of the second annual Green Heroes awards, put on by the Learning Trust and the council to recognise the work of pupils, their families, teachers and school staff in “greening up” Hackney’s schools.

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Green acts ranged from switching off lights in classrooms, growing veg for the school kitchen, tending school gardens and building a wind turbine from scratch.

Imogen Hathawya, an eight-year-old Queensbridge pupil won the primary Green Hero award and was praised for never missing a day of watering the school beds and hanging baskets, feeding the tadpoles and tending to the pond.

She said: “I was very excited to win this award. I really enjoy working outside and being green and I have learnt lots of things about the garden. My favourite thing was growing potatoes and tomatoes which we used in our salad bowls.”

There were fourteen overall ‘Green Hero’ winners, plus two eco-teams and 24 specially commended individuals, including teacher Ayesha Usmani from Clapton Girls’ Technology College in Laura Place, a team of ‘eco-warriors’ from Jubilee Primary School in Filey Avenue and gardener Ben Hooke from Parkwood Primary School in Finsbury Park.

Guests at the awards ceremony heard from Amy Fleuriot, London Fields resident and founder of Cycodelic, an award-winning fashion range for female cyclists.

She said: “Everyone can improve their lifestyle by becoming greener and reap the rewards.

“Whether it’s swapping some of your regular journeys by bus or car to a bicycle and arriving at work feeling more refreshed and seeing your personal fitness level soar, or simply making sure any unnecessary lights are turned off.

“Being green is easy fun and for most of us it’s about all the little changes that can fit easily into your existing lifestyle.”

Rob Sambrooks, Sustainable Schools Officer at The Learning Trust, said: “I’m delighted to be able to shine a light on the Green Heroes of Hackney Schools.

“These are the people who are actively leading the way to a greener, more sustainable future by reducing their school’s carbon footprint and cutting down on waste.

“Our green heroes show that no matter what your role in school, you can make a real difference.”