ELKHART — Registration is open for a recycled fashion show next month, which is meant to combine a love of art with love for the environment.

The contest is Dec. 4 at ETHOS Innovation Center. Cash prizes are available to participants who make a recycled outfit along with submitting an “environmental factoid” about the impact of recycling.

Sign-ups are open to everybody 8 and older. Participants can show their creativity in designing and making fashion costumes that are almost entirely made of recycled materials.

The recyclables can be either household materials, like packaging, or clothing that’s been upcycled into something else, said enFocus fellow Allison Egan. She worked with summer intern Shaima Musley to plan the event.

“For example, what I’ll be wearing is sort of a hybrid of both of those things – I took one of my dresses that was unfortunately ruined at the dry cleaners and unwearable in its current form, and at the ‘ETHOS Spooktacular’ event had children decorate it using recycled materials such as pages from magazines and old bubble wrap,” Egan said.

Participants can compete individually or as part of a team of up to five members, under either a K-12 or adult age category. Awards include cash prizes for first- and second-place winners in both age categories as well as a grand prize of $100 for the overall winner.

For more information or to sign up, visit elkhartcountyswmd.com/recycling-fashion-show. Registrations is open until Nov. 22.

The fashion show is being put on by the Elkhart County Solid Waste Management District, with funding from a Little Big Idea Grant. Musley applied for the $1,000 grant with help from Egan, after the two worked together on the SWMD’s Green Schools Initiative.

“(We were) brainstorming how we might get students and adults involved outside of school hours,” Egan said. “Given Elkhart County’s robust arts community, the fashion show was the perfect combination of creativity and recycling awareness. And fun. So we applied for the Little Big Idea Grant to support the effort.”

In addition to the cash prizes, she said the grant money will be spent on refreshments for participants, professional photography and recycling-related goodies for attendees, such as reusable bags, water bottles and stickers.

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