Hats off to Sunderland students with designs on leading recycling drive

The students have been finding a fitting use for unwanted waste.
The students have been finding a fitting use for unwanted waste.
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Forward-thinking fashion students have proved rubbish doesn’t have to be old hat – after finding a fitting use for unwanted waste.

Bright spark youngsters at Sunderland College have joined forces with Groundwork North East and Cumbria to launch an eye-opening new exhibition showcasing a rich array of recycled paper hat designs at Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden.

The pioneering scheme aims to show that recycling is far from a waste of time – and tired items set for the rubbish bin can be given a new lease of life through some fresh thinking.

The rejuvenated paper headwear, designed and created by Year 1 students on Sunderland College’s Fashion and Clothing BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 course, will be taking pride of place on display at the culture spot until Sunday, April 10.

The project was commissioned by Wendy Fail, visitor and education centre co-ordinator at Groundwork North East & Cumbria, on behalf of the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership, which has ambitious plans to make better use of the rubbish collected across the region.

Wendy said: “The paper hats and accessories show that, despite the challenges, beautiful, elegant, functional outfits can be created from material that might otherwise have been thrown away.”

Jan Miller, lecturer in Art and Design at Sunderland College, said: “The Paper Hat project, completed with the help of their tutor Helen Willey, has given the first-year fashion students an exciting creative challenge as well as extending their knowledge and understanding of the importance of recycling in today’s world.”