Fancy recycled fashion

MACKENZIE MCCARTY
Last updated 05:00 08/09/2012
Carla Cederman
BEN CURRAN/Fairfax NZ
WEARABLE ART: Carla Cederman wearing Something Borrowed, Something Blue-Top made by Rebecca Bowman.

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Fancy a wedding dress made from old milk bottles and used plastic forks? Rebecca Bowman, 31, does - though she won't be sporting it at her own big day.

Miss Bowman, a primary school teacher in South Auckland, is displaying her creation Something Borrowed, Something Blue-Top, at tonight's Restyle recycled fashion event at Founders Theatre.

She made the gown by hand using 82 recycled blue-top milk bottles and a pile of plastic forks collected after a "beerfest" held at a local brewery.

Entry requirements state that no new materials can be used, so she hand-sewed cut-up bottles using a ream of her late grandmother's nylon thread - nearly 200 metres of it.

"I broke a number of needles and had to buy a thimble to keep from ruining my fingers."

Since they didn't have any bottles at home, as Miss Bowman is allergic to dairy, she and her partner drove to various Newmarket cafes, collecting empty donations.

Using milk bottles was important to Miss Bowman.

"I liked the fact that they're everywhere. They get recycled for jerseys and stuff, so it's a play on that. Rather than go through all the processing, we just made it directly from the empty bottles."

Once the Restyle event is finished, Miss Bowman hopes to display her gown in a classroom in order to inspire students into creative design.

"I don't want to chuck it out - though one friend suggested ringing Fonterra to see if they're interested!"

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- Waikato Times

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