By Nick Yates, ISB Communications
International School of Beijing (ISB) students raised an estimated 39,000 RMB for charity and flaunted their design skills and style in the school's annual Charity Fashion Show on Saturday. High School models paraded on the catwalk in some stunning outfits.
The event was entirely run by students. They designed most of the fancy frocks and suits, while sponsors also donated clothes and products. Proceeds from ticket sales and money raised by the Parent Teacher Association will go to local social enterprise Roundabout.
Design features heavily in the ISB curriculum alongside traditional academics, and co-curricular activities like the Charity Fashion Show give students plenty of opportunities to pursue their passions. ISB learners are also encouraged to give back through charitable and service programs, and to have awareness of social issues.
Among a number of designers for the show, 11th grader Helen S wanted to use it as an exercise in recycling. She made use of unwanted materials like bubble wrap and plastic in her clothes.
Helen explained that she was inspired by her studies on sustainability and by the facilities she could access on campus. She cited a sustainability-focused ISB trip to Bali, Indonesia in September, when students spent time at a school which teaches green practices in a natural setting. "This collection is meant to show waste and how we could be able to upcycle it into fashion. The idea came to me while I was researching trash in China, which made me think of how efficient and self-sustainable Bali was compared to Beijing.
"The Fab Lab at ISB was a great source of materials, from re-purposed plastics to bubble wrap, and knowing that the school had unique resources that I had access to, I decided to incorporate re-purposed plastics into garments and clothing items that I could conveniently work on at school."
Liliane K, grade 12, was one of the organizers of the Charity Fashion Show. "I thought it was a great opportunity to get involved with the school and give students chance to show creativity while raising money for a great cause," she said. "The aim is to provide a platform for amazing student designers to display their hard work and hold a successful event that the rest of the school community can enjoy. Furthermore, the Charity Fashion Show also gives performers, such as singers and musicians, a chance to show their talents.
"The most important thing I've learned throughout the organization and planning process is how important collaboration is, whether this is with the designers and models, organizing within the core team itself, or even our communication with our various sponsors and charity cause."