Recycled Runway 2022

Bib & Tucker Sew-Op's Recycled Runway 2022: On The Mend was held April 1, 2022 at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

To prepare for Recycled Runway, students participated in a six-week sewing and design workshop led by Sew-Op members and community makers at Avondale Public Library.

Zofia Pineda, 9th Grade

Artist's Statement

Families Belong Together is a movement that took place after the “zero tolerance” immigration policy. This movement is trying to fix the damage that the “zero tolerance” policy did to immigrant families. My dress is a representation of the thousands of people that have suffered due to this policy or are prone to have the same fate.

Families Belong Together is a movement to stop the unfair and inhuman treatment of immigrant families that seek a better life in America. I chose to make my dress as a Monarch butterfly, because the Monarch butterfly is one of the greatest symbols in the immigrants movement for generations. The dress has the Mexican flag on my shoulders because I'm of Mexican descent and I’m honored to represent this movement. I have the Colombia and Honduras flags on my arms and the Guatemala and El Salvador flags on my legs following Mexico into America. The beads on the front of the dress represent the many immigrants and their families who are searching for a better life in America. The chains on the sides of the dress holding the bottom wings represent the chains of unfair and inhumane treatment. The weight of the dress itself is heavy because the topic it represents is heavy.

“What makes someone American isn’t just blood or birth but allegiance to our founding principles and faith in the idea that anyone- from anywhere- can write the next chapter of our story.” President Barack Obama

Light Dumijah, 6th Grade

My outfit is art. Art is a voice that can speak without using words. Art can be many different things with many different voices. My outfit is made out of waste that was discarded and forgotten. The waistband on the shirt is made with scraps of Barbie clothing. The skirt is part of a discarded prom dress, and the patches and ruffles are made from small scraps of fabric. 

I used these materials, because I feel waste has become too big of a problem for the world. Animals are dying due to our waste, but we can help stop that. You might think we can’t fix this problem, but we can do more. We can reuse and recycle more. Many materials you’ve seen and will see tonight were discarded and yet, we all managed to make beautiful things with them. Pieces of art. Made out of trash. 

Let’s leave the world better than we found it.

Goo Holmes, 8th Grade

Artist's Statement

My outfit is about trying to deconstruct the gender binary rules in fashion that our culture has burdened us with. People should be free and feel safe expressing themselves regardless of what body parts they were born with. and telling children that it's ok to explore their gender identity and I think all children should have a safe, supportive environment where they can explore what gender means to them freely. Overall this project was incredibly personal to me as a nonbinary person and pulling from experiences of like going into a store with high hopes of finding something that would fit me properly and not make me feel uncomfortable going out in public only to leave empty handed and hating my body, so with that in mind I wanted to create a look that I would feel confident wearing and also having it serve as a message that nonbinary people exist, there’s nothing wrong or unnatural about being nonbinry, and we need more representation in fashion that would be available to the average shopper at like target or something, and really just that nonbinary people deserve respect.

Maggie Bearden, 10th Grade

Artist's Statement

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved being in nature. Hiking trips and vacations to national parks are some of my favorite memories. I think what calls me to this appreciation of nature is the inherent beauty, the beauty that exists without the concept of “perfection.” Nothing in nature has straight lines, or behaves the way we, as humans, expect it to. It exists solely for the purpose of existing. I created my “look” to reflect these ideas. Using recycled earth-tones fabric I created individual abstract floral shapes. I applied these to a skirt base, which I converted into a pair of pants. The message I am attempting to convey with my piece is one of reflection, using the beauty of the natural world to inspire new creation and creativity. In addition I wish to promote the idea of sustainability in my design. Every piece of cloth incorporated was pre-used or recycled. Sustainability is especially important when taken into consideration with preservation of our natural spaces. I hope that my “look” invokes a wish to preserve the beauty of nature through colors and patterns that reflect the environment, while also committing to the idea of sustainability.

Claudia Williams, 10th Grade

Artist's Statement

My Recycled Runway look this year was all designed with a single theme in mind: clouds. Clouds are simple - no deep meaning, no call to action - because sometimes that’s all we have the mental and emotional energy for. I, like many others, often feel weighed down by all the seemingly insurmountable problems facing our society and the world as a whole, and while it is good to try and find solutions for these, we must remind ourselves to sometimes step away and rest. Without this renewal, we quickly burn out in our progress. Clouds, in their unburdened nature, embody that space of renewal; they embody a quiet resting place on the path to better futures. The clothes I have upcycled are a simple, physical reminder to me as their wearer of this need to rest.

MK McDonald

Artist's Statement

I wanted my look to represent something that everyone has, their identity. And I wanted it to share a message I feel everyone needs to hear. There are many things that make someone who they are. Each part of it is important, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Our identity is built off of all our previous experiences and what we have taken from them. The truth is that everyone has gone through something that changed their mindset, made them learn, affected their identity in some way, big or small, those things are important. It’s those experiences that make every person unique, I mean if no one was unique, the world would be a boring and repetitive place. You shouldn’t worry about who someone else wants you to be, and it’s ok to try and shape your identity in a way that makes you proud of who you are. My look is inspired by my identity, my many experiences roughly sewn together to make me who I am today, and onward because my identity will never stop developing. Who I am is unique and I can’t wait to discover myself more. Though I’m far from perfect, I’m proud of who I have become. And in turn, I want to convince others to feel the same way.

Aedan Grier, 7th Grade

Artist Statement

I want to make the world a better place and by doing that I decided to make it fun by making clothes. I love quotes so I want to put those on my clothes as well. No matter what, I am going to do what I love, and to be unstoppable, and by doing that, I will  help people that get bullied. I don’t like it when people try to put you down for liking clothes and calling people gay because they like design so I keep doing it and I feel good about it. The whole point of my Artist Statement is to lift people up and show them that they can do anything they put their mind to.

Erin Riley, 7th Grade

Artist Statement

I’m going for an underwater sea queen. To represent trash in the ocean. The shawl represents the trash, it may be sparkly and fun but it's still trash at its core. The dress has patches and buttons. The patches represent the people who are trying to mend the ocean and the buttons represent different species that are needed. Without one species of plant or animal the whole ecosystem could fray and collapse. Mending is what will save the ocean, we need to mend coral reefs, ecosystems, and our world.

Jenna Vandiver, 12th Grade

Artist Statement

My Recycled Runway: On the Mend looks are both inspired by the recent events in Ukraine. 

My first look shows the power and strength of the Ukrainian people and their love for their brothers and sisters in their nation, and even those in Russia. My look is inspired by Olga of Kiev, a historical woman who, after her husband was killed, took revenge on the people who killed him in very smart and clever ways, she didn’t stop until she felt like her loss had been equaled on their side. It shows how someone's love can strengthen them so much and give them power to do the unthinkable. The look is a recycled formal dress that has a rip in the back that has been mended with the silhouette of Olga and birds on fire embroidered over holes, it has also been dip dyed with bleach to resemble a fire. The makeup and hair for this look is very clean but strong, composed of a strong smokey eye with bold eyeliner and slicked back hair.

My second look is about the hopeful recovery Ukraine has in their future. It shows the strength of the people and how, even though they’ve gone through all this struggle and hurt, they have the ability to rebuild even stronger. It is a blue formal dress that has some tears and rips throughout the dress. I have started the mending with bright yellow embroidery thread but chose not to finish the mending all the way down as to leave the option of change in their rebuilding and growth. The makeup and hair for this look is more torn up, resembling a girl after a breakup, with a runny mascara and eyeshadow look, smudged lipstick and messy, undone hair.