12 March 2014 11:31

C School third year pupils walked down the catwalk on Monday in front of fashion experts, teachers and their peers wearing recycled clothes that they created to send out the message that in times of a financial crisis we can still be fashionable.  
For the fashion show, students employed the increasingly popular trend of "Upcycling", the art of reusing unwanted items by converting them into something better.
The fashion show was part of a research conducted by students that asked whether: "In times of a financial crisis creative recycling of even our wardrobes is necessary. However, can fashion and a financial crisis co-exist?"
The research was within the framework of "Students in Research Competition-MERA", which is part of the Development of Research and Innovative Culture Programme of the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF).
It aims to get students who are in primary and secondary education in public and private schools involved in scientific research and stimulate their creativity.
As part of the research a group of pupils distributed questionnaires to GC School third year and final year students.
Research findings showed that that the majority of students shop up to three times a month. They said their purchases were influenced by the financial crisis and they shop less in relation to last year. Also it was found that girls were influenced more than boys in relation to shopping less often.
Students said that the first thing they take into consideration when they buy clothes is their personal style and the price tag.
Then they think about the quality of the cloth and other factors that influence a purchase to include fashion, brand, friend's opinion, marketing and the last factor was the sales assistant's opinion.
When asked if they think that upcycling can help put an end to over consumption 82% agreed and 18% disagreed.  
As part of the research students also presented the negative effects of over consumption, noting that "over consumption creates psychological problems such as fears, feelings of insecurity and stress".
Some 76% said they prefer quality over quantity, while 24% said they prefer quantity.
When asked to compare their shopping activity before and after the financial crisis 54% said they now take into consideration the price tag and quality, 18% said that they now prefer to buy clothes during sales, 15% said that their shopping activity has not been affected, 8% said they buy only what is necessary and 5% said that they stopped shopping.
Only 40% of participants said they use upcycling. When asked why they do not use upcycling, 49% said they never had to, 25% said they are not interested in upcycling, 22% said that they don't like upcycling and 4% said they don't have the time.
GC School General Director Emilios Hadjipetris, said: "As a school we pay great attention to the development of students' involvement with research and innovation to stimulate their creativity.
 "It is necessary that even children understand that consumption of material goods should be redefined. Consumption should cover our basic human needs without elements of excess or luxury."
Hadjipetris also said that the research has also helped cultivate values such as solidarity among pupils.  
Students who presented the research at the event said, "We can no longer demand from our parents new clothes for our wardrobes. However, what we can do, using clever and innovative techniques is to change and transform our existing wardrobe."
They added that the aim was to give out the message that we can overcome the crisis through creativity, and that fashion can still exist by not throwing away our old clothes but redefining them using our imagination.
"The period of 'shopping therapy' is over and through our research we want to give the message to youth that with a dose of creativity an old piece of clothing we own that may seem boring can change completely.    
"Throwing away clothes and accessories that are in a good condition has negative consequences for both our environment and society."


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