Dress out of plastic waste! Nigerian teen activists create sustainable fashion

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Young Nigeria climate change activists wearing the dresses made out of plastic waste

A group of teenagers in Lagos, Nigeria’s megacity has collected a mass of plastic bottles, food containers, and bags that have blocked the waterway, to create glamorous dresses out of it.

They collected the plastic waste and put it in refuse bags, by wearing gloves and masks. Their goal is to allow water to flow around a waterway built to prevent flooding in the city’s Sangotedo district while also raising awareness about the problems caused by single-use plastic.

“We need to start now because in a few years it’s going to be too late to do anything,” said Esohe Ozigbo, a 15-year-old climate change activist who leads the group of teenagers, about the importance of addressing environmental issues.

According to the reports, plastic waste is ubiquitous in Lagos, the commercial capital of Africa’s most populous country with a population of more than 20 million people, where dropping litter is commonplace.

Ms. Ozigbo and her fellow activists glue plastic to cloth to produce garments that they wear in their annual “Trashion Show” to reinforce their message about the level of waste in Lagos.

Greenfingers Wildlife Initiative, a non-profit conservation organization supported by donations, collaborates with young people to put on the shows in malls. The goal is to “mix creativity with advocacy,” commented the organization’s founder, Chinedu Mogbo.

“Rather than just taking everything maybe to a dumping site… we decided to spruce things up and start the Trashion Show,” Mr. Mogbo added.

Earlier this month, shoppers in the Lagos shopping mall saw teenagers dressed in multicolored shopping bags, trash sacks, and plastic bottles.

Ms. Ozigbo, who cites Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as her inspiration, stated that she hoped the shows made shoppers think about their actions. “We are just teenagers but we are trying to … make a change in the world,” she added.

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