TRANSITION Year art students from the Loreto Secondary School in Fermoy have proven one age-old adage to be true - one person's rubbish can often be someone else's treasure.
Recycling has become all the rage for the fashion conscious girls, 12 of whom will tomorrow show off their imaginative designs at the regional finals of a national competition where participants literally turn junk into haute couture.
The girls were among hundreds of entrants in the appropriately named Junk Kouture competition, ran under the auspices of the European Recycling Platform (ERP).
From seaweed to old exam papers to recycled glass, the Loreto girls have taken items that would ordinarily end up in the waste bin and used them to create stunning new dresses.
The pupils worked along side art teachers Eleanor Curtin and Karen Clancy to create garments that would not look out of place on the catwalks of Milan or Paris.
"It has been a fantastic experience for us and the girls," said Eleanor. "We even took a trip down to the beach in Ardmore to collect seaweed for one of the dresses. Other items we've used include old newspapers and discarded clothing, all stuff that would otherwise have been dumped." "We have all been amazed at what you can create with these items and a bit of imagination. It has been a great lesson for us all in the value of recycling and what can be achieved when people put their minds to it," she added.
The school will take a 52-seater bus to the regional final at Limerick's University Concert Hall, ensuring the Loreto girls have plenty of support.
"One member of each team will model the dress on the catwalk to music specially selected by the students. It promises to be a great day," said Eleanor.
"Fingers crossed we will be doing it all again in April for the grand final in Dublin," she added.