On Saturday 20 August, kids from around the Diocese came together for a Sustainable Wearable Arts Fashion Show – the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul was transformed with a runway, ‘Project Runway’ style screen, and amazing lighting and smoke effects. Bishop Justin was our MC for the night. Overall we had 50 costumes from a variety of parishes as well as pupils from Samuel Marsden Collegiate, with around 75 kids being involved in creating costumes.
The vision for the evening was to allow our children (school years 0-8) to raise their voices as kaitiaki of God’s earth; speaking into our Diocesan synod charge around climate change. Over several months, 10 parishes and schools took up the invitation to collect items that would ordinarily end up in rubbish or recycling, and create crazy costumes.
Our koha for the night went towards the Red Cross’s Pacific Disaster Relief Fund, in order to help the ongoing re-build from Cyclone Winston. We had Josese Rokotakala, a high school student from Tawa who was in Fiji when the cyclone struck, come and talk to us about his experiences and the ongoing need there. Thanks to the generosity of the audience we raised over $1,000 to feed into this fund.
We also had Amilie Paynter from Blueprint Church come and share with us her dress which won the People’s Choice Award in the ‘real’ World of Wearable Arts show in 2006 – made from recycled weed mats and 5c coins.
The variety of costumes was amazing – we ended up having 5 sections – ‘From the Depths of our Imaginations’ (mythical creatures, characters, Sci Fi etc.); ‘Techno-Whizzes’ (i.e. robots, futuristic themes)’; ‘Off to the Ball’; ‘Birds of the Air and Beasts of the Field’ – i.e. living things on land and sky – and finally ‘Under the Sea’. Particular highlights were the parish of Pauatahanui who created a giant fish and had a powerful message around washing cars on the grass to avoid chemical run-off into the inlet; also the mermaid costume created by Charlotte Lubransky (aged 11) which was amazingly detailed, with the theme of ocean pollution, and with materials sent in from friends all around New Zealand.
Every child went home with an eco-goody bag containing recycled crayons, seed bombs, re-usable cloth sandwich bags for lunchboxes, and a variety of activities.
Check out this video of the action!