PSJA ISD hosts first-ever sustainable fashion show
PHARR – Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD) hosted the first-ever Elementary Sustainable ‘Trashion’ Show featuring handmade clothing and accessories composed from recyclable items on January 26, 2024, at PSJA Southwest Early College High School.
As part of PSJA ISD’s mission to promote sustainability district-wide, PSJA ISD has continuously integrated the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into its curriculum to equip students with pertinent real-world knowledge and hands-on experiences crucial to help them compete at a global level.
Elementary students in grades Pre-K – 5th grade engaged in a Science Project Based Learning (PBL) activity centered around conservation and creativity. Through the PBL activity students conducted research on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and got to unleash their creativity by utilizing recyclable materials to design wearable fashion.
The event was made possible through a collaboration between the PSJA Office of Sustainability, PSJA Office of Elementary Curriculum, as well as support from cities of Pharr, San Juan, and Alamo Public Works, and the Pharr Public Health Department.
During the special event, PSJA ISD elementary students represented their campus as they walked the red carpet and strutted the stage in their recyclable project.
For Penelope Santamaria, 5th grade student from Geraldine Palmer Elementary participating in the ‘Trashion’ Show was an honor, being able to showcase her creativity and represent her campus through her dress constructed out of recycled cardboard from Amazon packages was a fun experience.
“The whole purpose of the project was to showcase the impact of recycling,” said Santamaria. “It took two whole days to create my dress from scratch, it was a fun project that my grandma helped me create while also making an impact on the environment by reusing the cardboard that would’ve been thrown away.”
In addition to student-made sustainable fashion, the event featured remarks from district leaders and PSJA North Early College High School Alum and New York City Costume Designer and illustrator Wilberth Gonzalez who shared words of inspiration and spoke to students about his professional journey designing for Broadway and his sustainability efforts as a designer.
Gonzalez has assisted in several designs that have made their debut on numerous Broadway shows such as Moulin Rouge, My Fair Lady, The King and I, War Paint, and Mrs. Doubtfire. He also received an Emmy nomination in 2022 for his work as an Assistant Costume Designer on Moon Knight.
“The ‘Trashion’ Show event showcases PSJA ISD’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said Velma Sanchez PSJA ISD Sustainability Coordinator. “We are very proud of our students and staff for their dedication and hard work.”