Project Re-Runway Brings Recycled Fashion to the Middle School Set

Project Re-Runway, a program created by Citizen Schools and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, is teaching young girls to design wearable fashions from recycled goods for an upcoming fashion show.

Citizen Schools, a nonprofit organization that runs creative, hands-on after-school learning experiences for middle school students, approached leaders from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts to act as mentors for the program. The 12-week apprenticeship challenges teams to work together and make an entire outfit for a runway show next month.


“They wanted something that would draw the girls in,” said Suzanne Raposo, diversity specialist for the Girl Scouts in southeastern Massachusetts, who oversees Project Re-Runway. “It develops teamwork and leadership. It’s all embedded in this fun project. It’s an educational experience that keeps going after the bell rings.”

Raposo said the group’s goal is to present their eco-friendly creations in local malls. “The great thing is this is a career as well. It is up-and-coming in the fashion industry (to work with recycled materials),” Raposo said.

To make a knee-length skirt, eighth-graders Aimee Pinto, Kiaryne Ramos and Caitlin Faria, glued mossy green, mauve and light orange wallpaper squares to a pair of old jean shorts. Small slate- and sandy-colored flooring rectangles have been transformed into a complementary necklace and earring set.

“You can look good, be comfortable and still impress,” said Pinto, 13.

“And be green,” said Ramos, also 13.

“We are taking these (old) materials and making something new,” said Pinto, as she held the items up to Faria, who will model the finished product.

The other students are tackling evening wear, futuristic garments and an 18th century dress, all of which will be presented in a runway show for friends and family on December 18th.

Written by Melissa Elliott

Melissa Elliott is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her personal blog,, documents her culinary adventures from her kitchen to vegan food around the world. When she's not glued to her computer or on the road, she loves to spend time with her husband, Ryan, cats Beamish & Scurvy, and beloved chihuahua, Strummer.

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