Is fashion a load of old rubbish?

Is fashion a load of old rubbish at Sunderland Museum

Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden are to exhibit recycled paper dresses designed and created by Sunderland College Year 1 Fashion and Clothing BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 students in a joint project with Groundwork North East and Cumbria

Groundwork North East and Cumbria have led an innovative new project with students from Sunderland College culminating in an eye-catching exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. Paper dresses were all the rage in the late sixties as the American “throw-away” society emerged. The Pop Art ideal of merging common culture with fine art was expressed in disposable clothing that was in high demand. Paper dresses, designed and created by Year 1 students on Sunderland College’s Fashion and Clothing BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 course and will be on display in Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens between Saturday 31 January – Sunday 8 March 2015.

The dresses were commissioned by Wendy Fail, Visitor and Education Centre Coordinator at Groundwork North East and Cumbria.  The project has been delivered under the wider remit of the new Visitor and Education Centre, located in Wrekenton.  The centre is an integral part of South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership’s ambitious plans to make full use of the rubbish collected by Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland Councils rather than sending it to landfill.  The waste partnership is working with SITA UK to help deliver these plans and SITA in turn work with Groundwork to assist in involving communities. The centre is quickly becoming established as a centre of excellence, providing school children and the wider community across the partner council’s the chance to find out more about recycling and sustainable waste management.

Wendy Fail, Visitor and Education Centre Coordinator at Groundwork North East and Cumbria said ‘The dresses show that, despite the challenges, beautiful, elegant, functional outfits can be created from material that might otherwise have been thrown away. I’ve been really impressed by the quality and creativity of the students on this project.’

Jan Miller, Lecturer in Art and Design at Sunderland College, stated ‘The Paper Dress project, completed with the help of their tutor Helen Willey, has given the First Year Fashion students an exciting creative challenge as well as extending their knowledge and understanding of the importance of recycling in today’s world.’

After their run at Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden, the dresses will be on display at Hendon Library between 10 March – 7 April and Campground Visitor and Education Centre between 8 April-1 May, before being returned to Sunderland College for their End of Year Show.

Share this

Did you know?

Mowbray Park in Sunderland city centre is one of the oldest parks in the North East. Restored to its former Victorian splendour, it has an intriguing array of art works.


RT : Park Strife: The excellent Plays in the Parks series returns this weekend, bringing Shakespeare’s History plays and… 12 hours 38 min ago
'Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...'! Join and for the fantastic 'Pl… 16 hours 30 min ago
RT : returns to this week with 's Henry V live in Roker Park. 7pm 18th - 21st J… 1 day 6 hours ago
RT : Set course for the City Library at the Museum this summer. The first of our intergalactic craft activities is takin… 1 day 13 hours ago
How lucky we are to live here 😍☀️ Seaburn looking beautiful this morning. 1 day 18 hours ago
RT : This week we launched , an action packed calendar of activities for the whole family at 2 days 14 hours ago
RT : Today's launch day (pun intended)for the Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge. Visit to join the fun an… 2 days 19 hours ago
Tomorrow 👇👇👇 5 days 7 hours ago
It's been three weeks since the first Sunderland Food and Drink Festival in the city centre with Wh… 5 days 12 hours ago
Jealous! 5 days 12 hours ago
Pop up park in Market Square looking lovely in the sunshine ☀️ 5 days 13 hours ago
Find out more about the event line up for only a few short weeks to go 👇👇👇👇 5 days 16 hours ago
RT : Big news! DERREN BROWN to return to SUNDERLAND with his brand new live show in AUGUST 2020! Priority booking now… 6 days 9 hours ago
RT : Just before sunset along the Roker Seafront in 6 days 20 hours ago


Download the See it Do it app

Sign up to our newsletter

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.