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Setting new trends in the name of sustainability and charity

03.12.21

Dressed to the nines on the last day of school, our middle school students were out to set a new trend in the name of sustainability and charity.

The transformed St Sebastian Centre at the Flinders Park Campus was bursting at the seams with over 300 students all donning recycled outfits for a ‘Second Chance Social’ event.

The celebration on Friday 3 December closed the 2021 school year, sending students into the summer holidays with a social message on their mind – fashion doesn’t have to cost the earth!

The event was conceived by Year 9 student Sarah Higgins as the outcome of her Social Enterprise Project – an independent education experience which consolidates and connects classroom learning, personal experience, and personal interests.

As part of the Social Enterprise Project, Year 9 students investigate a social issue from within six categories and develop a project or enterprise aimed at filling that need. Categories include language and literature, science and health, social sciences, sustainability and the environment, technology, engineering and mathematics and the arts.

For Sarah, the project was an opportunity to draw awareness to clothing sustainability and change the way young people shop.

“I wanted to inspire people at school to realise that there are more sustainable ways to source fashion that is on trend; including buying second-hand, borrowing, renting, upcycling or even making,” said Sarah, who worked in collaboration with fellow student leaders to organise all details of the Social.

“The event aimed to raise awareness about the environmental waste that comes from buying one-time-wear outfits (for something like a school formal). At the same time, we also raised money for our College’s House charities,” she said.

The ticketed event, which included a professional DJ, photobooth and BBQ lunch, raised nearly $1,000. All profits were split between the 5 organisations that Nazareth support in their ongoing social justice work under the House system. Beneficiaries include the RSPCA, the Smith Family, Treasure Boxes, Mary Potter Foundation, and the Good Fight.

“In addition to raising money for our House causes, I wanted to promote and encourage students to support local charity shops in the lead up to the event,” explained Sarah, who also organised for Dulcie’s Bus to visit the Flinders Park Campus on Tuesday 16 November.

Students and staff had the opportunity to browse and purchase preloved threads from Dulcie’s vintage collection, a store which raises much needed funds for Hutt Street Centre and Centacare. Nearly $500 was profited in sales, which will directly assist people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage.

Off the back of its inaugural success, the Second Chance Social is now set to be Nazareth’s vogue annual calendar event.

“I think this event has the potential to make a big impact, and I hope that it continues to be something that students look forward to.” said Sarah.

“My hope for the future is that we will change mindsets around recycled clothing, grow the trend and make thrifting fashionable. It’s far more eco-friendly than buying brand new, and the planet will thank us!”