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Fashion Show Full of Recycled Creations Delights Crowd, Participants

An ongoing tradition at South Arbor Charter Academy focuses on the environment, fashion, and creativity. The long-time Trashion Show prompts students and staff alike to create wearable fashion from everyday throwaway and recyclable items. The show has been going on for more than a decade and has a history of great outfits and costumes like the Kool-Aid Man and Darth Vader.

“The Trashion Show has been going on at South Arbor before I was hired in 2014,” Art Teacher Amanda Nicastro said. “At the time, it was hosted by the Green Team, a group of students and staff that was in charge of our recycling program as well as promoting greener living.”

South Arbor teacher participates in Trashion Show
South Arbor staff members created costumes and participated in the show.

With that type of commitment, it’s no wonder South Arbor has outperformed the local district for the past 14 years.

Nicastro said students could work individually or in teams while preparing for the show. They needed to make wearable works of art out of items that normally get recycled or thrown away, like cardboard boxes, tubes, plastic bags, bottles, bottle caps, cups, candy wrappers, and juice pouches. She said one student even used foam from old furniture cushions (with parent permission, of course).

South Arbor student in their design for the Trashion Show
South Arbor student shows of their design during the Trashion Show.
“Every year the students come up with amazingly unique ideas. I've seen everything from elegant ball gowns and robot rock stars to a giant three-person dragon costume. This year, a group of students paid homage to characters from the Mario Brothers franchise. They called themselves the Super ‘Trash’ Brothers.

South Arbor students in their Trashion Show outfits
The Super “Trash” Brothers in their outfits.

“Even staff members have gotten involved. Music Director Dave Middlin set up a spotlight and played runway-worthy tunes while the students showed off their creations to the whole school. It's an epic event, and I'm so excited that I've been able to help carry on the tradition.”

Great work promoting recycling and creativity, South Arbor!

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About South Arbor Charter Academy
South Arbor Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Ypsilanti, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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