Eco-Friendly Designer Transforms Garbage Into Glamorous Outfits
Most artists have a favorite material they like to work with. For 28-year-old Kristen Alyce, it happens to be trash. The eco-conscious designer uses her incredible talent to transform garbage like empty drink bottles and Skittles wrappers into glamorous outfits that sell for thousands of dollars.
Kristen says the idea came to her after she saw how much waste she and her three college roommates generated on a daily basis. The Fine Arts student began to dream about transforming the discarded bags and packages into beautiful garments. Her first dress made from plastic bags and rolled magazines was quirky, fun and even glamorous. However, she only made it to test her creativity.
The young designer did not consider starting a commercial venture until she spent a week working at Couture Fashion Week in New York City. There she observed the excitement generated by new and vintage looks and decided to see if her unusual idea would result in as much enthusiasm. She began by creating a line of 12 garbage-inspired dresses. They were a tremendous success and Garbage Gone Glam was born!
Today the company that has offices in Palm Beach, Florida and New York City, produces a wide variety of outfits that range from cocktail dresses to ball gowns. Kristen, of course, doesn't scout trash cans for her material anymore. Instead, she seeks it from companies that have manufactured more than they need and are planning to throw away the extras. Since the designer can work with anything from brochures to yellow page directory pages to candy wrappers, finding 'trash' is never an issue.
However, if you think the garbage inspired couture dresses come cheap, think again. The price for ready-made creations retails on the company's site from $500 to $1,500 USD. Those seeking custom outfits have to fork out as much as $2,000 USD. Though that may appear expensive, the designer says that she has no shortage of customers. In fact thanks to persistent requests she now even has trash inspired attire for men that includes jackets, ties, trousers and even board shorts! While, most of the outfits are hardy enough to withstand multiple wears, whether they can be cleaned is a little unclear.
Resources: odditycentral.com, dailymail.co.uk
Reading Comprehension (3 questions)
- What is Kristen Alyce's favorite material? How did the designer think of using it? What was her first dress made from?
- What inspired Kristen to start a commercial venture? How many dresses did she start with? What is her company called?
Critical Thinking Challenge
Why in your opinion are Kristen's customers willing to pay so much...