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By Kara Blomquist
Green is the new black — at least at the third annual Project Greenway.
Project Greenway is a competitive fashion show and concert hosted by Uproar Records, Baylor’s student-run record label. The event begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Common Grounds. Admission is free and open to the public.
Students, individually or in a group, design and create outfits using recyclable or reusable materials. Student models will wear these outfits in a runway show at the event. Before and during the runway competition, Uproar artists Dreamboat and Layne Lynch will perform.
This year, the event will benefit Keep Waco Beautiful, a nonprofit organization aimed at making Waco a clean and safe place to live, according to the organization’s website.
Common Grounds is creating a new drink for Project Greenway, that it will begin selling Thursday for a limited time. One dollar from each sale of the drink will go to Keep Waco Beautiful.
Uproar Records will also accept donations for the nonprofit at the event.
The coffee shop will use the event as the kickoff party for their green initiative, said Crandall junior Jodie Orr, director of Project Greenway.
“The goal for the event as a whole is to motivate and inspire students, or whoever comes to the event, to live a more sustainable lifestyle,” she said. “We just thought that a fashion show and a concert is a unique way to convey that message.”
The designer of the winning garment, either a team or an individual, will receive a $500 cash prize. A panel of judges determines the winner. The judges include representatives from Uproar Records, Baylor’s Office of Sustainability, Common Grounds and the Baylor fashion department. There will also be a fan-favorite award that the audience can vote for by using a hashtag on Twitter.
Garments will be judged on their creativity, the amount of recyclable material versus new material, the appeal and quality of the design and the wearability of the outfit, according to Project Greenway’s 2013 Official Criteria.
The teams have the option of using a fashion mentor to help them design and create the outfits. These mentors are Baylor fashion students.
Event sponsors include the Office of Sustainability, student government and Uproar Records. Common Grounds is partnering with Uproar Records to host the event.
Designers are also not allowed to use any kind of toxic materials, such as Styrofoam, certain paints and plastics that aren’t recyclable.
The Office of Sustainability played a large role in determining what materials were available to the design teams.
Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator, said the competition allows designers to use reusable materials in addition to recyclable items.
Orr said she wants the focus of the event to be recycling.
“I think that’s the easiest way to take the first step in living a more sustainable lifestyle, and so that’s the main form of eco-friendliness that we’re focusing on,” she said.
Aberdeen, Scotland, senior Katherine Davis, vice president of marketing for Uproar Records, said the event has grown each year. Last year was the first time Project Greenway was held at Common Grounds.
“We had people on the roof, like climbed up onto the roof to see the event,” she said. “We’re hosting it at Common Grounds again, and I honestly think we’re going to fill it up. Maybe next we’ll have to host it somewhere else that’s bigger.”
Getterman said he thinks growth of the event means more students are hearing the message of sustainability.
“It’s a great, kind of unobtrusive, almost subtle way of really getting some people who maybe normally aren’t thinking about being good stewards of God’s creation into that mindset,” he said.
Orr said Project Greenway has inspired her to live more sustainably.
“If these people can make clothing out of trash, how hard can it be to take those little steps to live more sustainably and more eco-friendly?” she said.
Beyond sustainability, Getterman said students should come to the event to see the designers’ outfits.
“It’s such a neat thing to see students really put a lot of effort and creativity into reusing materials that you typically wouldn’t see,” he said. “The designs that they come up with are just unbelievable.”
Getterman said he wants more students to attend and experience the event.
“It’s kind of a hidden gem on campus that I hope more and more students discover, just because it’s a cool thing,” he said. “It’s so unique.”