From Trash to Fashion: thanks to Keep Odessa Beautiful

Local News

ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Paper and Plastic aren’t just used to hold groceries: in fact they can be morphed and shaped into fashionable wear for both men and women.

Local Odessan designer Karlee Benavidez says fashion is what you make out of it “you can create art and save the planet at the same time, you can join these two and you can make something great out of art and science.”

This idea of recycling, reusing and repurposing fashion isn’t a new one, but it is one way to keep Odessa beautiful literally and figuratively.

And that is exactly what Benavidez did for the annual Keep Odessa Beautiful fashion show by creating a three-piece pant suit.

It may seem like a huge task for just a teenager to create but she had a vision and stuck with it.

“The reason we wanted to do that different from a dress is because we wanted something different this year and always did dresses in the previous years so we thought something bolder,” says Benavidez.

From a far this pantsuit may look like a regular suit but if you keep stepping closer you’ll see something more unique.

“I thought it was such a waste so lets try to do something with them so we decided to break it open and use almost every piece of the keyboard,” says Benavidez.

You might be wondering where she got all those keys from to fill up the entire suit. And well, all the attributions goes to her aunt whose trucking company received a computer system upgrade.

And just like that she simply upgraded her pantsuit with a strategy called balance.

“We decided to have symmetry on the jackets and asymmetry on the hat and pants to create a balance, says Benevidez. “The jacket is more articulate in each line is more symmetrical and follow each other, and the pants is very disorderly and categorical as there are pieces of the keyboard as well and makes the pants look less bulky [while] the hat as well it’s very chaotic and does not have any symmetry it’s very asymmetrical which pulls the entire piece together.

She says being able to create art in this form is always a fun hobby.

“I’m really big on the arts and I really love the environment as well so I thought that would be a great way to conjoin the two and do something that I’d really enjoy and put it all together,” says Benavidez.

But this project had a much deeper meaning for her.

“This planet is not only being used by us we’re sharing this planet with other creatures and other living things,” says Benavidez. And I think that is extremely important because as being human it is not of thinking about yourself its about thinking about community and being together so we to learn how to take care of things we all share and something that’s supposed to shared by the entire living beings.

Sustainability in the fashion industry was once the focus of only a handful of designers like Stella McCartney and outdoor gear companies such as Patagonia who started recycling bottles to make their garments back in 1993 and Benavidez hopes the fashion industry continue to pick up this trend.

“I think its got along way to go I believe it can get there soon some people aren’t aware of it yet that’s why im so appreciative of this show because it helps people become more aware,” says Benevidez.

This year’s fashion show held on October 22, 2021 will be the biggest 6th annual for Keep Odessa Beautiful because it is not open just for local Midlanders or Odessands but its open to the entire Permian Basin.

Entry is free but here are the guidelines to participate:

Desginers and models must be eight years of age or older.

All particpants 17-years-old or younger MUST have parent/guardian signature of consent to participate.

Contestants will be judges on how they best display the ability to “reduce, reused, repurpose, and/or recycle with a 50% (minimum) recycled materials or reused/repurposed items that would otherwise wind up in our landfills. Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd will be awarded and announced.

For more information check out: Keep Odessa Beautiful website.

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