Eco Awareness Day and Fashion Fest 2023 allowed students to put their design skills to work while promoting the importance of recycling and reusing.

Violet Rempel, a Grade 8 student from Macgregor Elementary, was selected to go to CF Polo Park in Winnipeg on May 5 after a dress she made from recycled materials was picked as a finalist for the Fashion Fest.

Violet, who had her Grade 6 sister, Ivy, model the outfit, explains that the dress took a couple of months to perfect.

"I think it turned out really good! It was a good experience; I'd say we both learned to be patient with each other."

The dress, made of net wrap and baler twine, did come with a few headaches in the process, with multiple prototypes being scrapped along the way. In the end, the final dress took around five hours of blood, sweat and tears to make, according to Violet.

"When we made the dress, we did not think like all of this would happen. We just thought we'd go to Winnipeg, get it over with, and maybe come home with a prize if we're lucky. "

Violet says it took about 20 minutes to get the product onto her sister with the elaborate dress.

"I think, honestly, the back is the best part. But sadly, they don't show that in the photo," adds the Grade 8 student.

There were no official winners from the event, which had students participate from Kindergarten to Grade 12. However, both sisters did take home a $50 gift card to Polo Park.

Violet notes that while she had a lot of fun making the dress, she doesn't see a future in fashion design, calling it a "flooded market." Instead, she plans to take her creativity into the Agriculture sector.