Dear Future, We’re Ready!

Dear Future, We’re Ready!

On April 7th, FISFL attended EcoTech Vision’s Green Vibez party, a showcase of sustainable ideas, businesses, and people who want a greener future. There was so much to enjoy as we feasted on a tasty, organic stir-fry buffet and scrumptious Tequila cocktails with One Life Organic Tequila, surrounded by beautiful murals reminiscent of an indoor Wynwood Walls.  Of course, we were excited to support our brilliant students who participated at this event!

 Kelly Leatherwood and Camilla Scott each showcased garments they created completely out of recycled materials! Accomplishing recycled looks like these takes plenty of ingenuity and creativity — so needless to say, we’re very proud of them for representing the school. 

 Read below on what inspired their looks, how they sourced their material, and more on what EcoTech Visions is about!





What inspired your look and how did you source your materials?

I was inspired by 90’s grunge from Marc Jacob’s early days, and I sourced my materials out of men’s jeans from Goodwill. I had a few issues with the crotch fitting of the men’s jeans since they would stick out. It came from a sketch I had from a while ago and I wanted to make it come to life with something recycled. I thought jeans were a cool material to work with. I love old 90’s grunge, even though I feel like I’m showing my age.

But grunge and 90’s style is all coming back now! So in a way (in fact) you’re actually showing you are a cool mom who is with the times and is current. 

Haha, thank you! I thought it was fitting to stud the coat since it was made from something masculine like men’s jeans.

I noticed you incorporated some of the fabric from your graduation collection into your look! Was that meant to be a sneak-peek or did you just find a creative way to repurpose scrap?


That piece of fabric was actually in my collection, but it’s not one that I’m showing for graduation since we only have three looks to do. It was part of the five looks from one of my collections, and we had 10 looks to do in total. 


How long did it take for you to make everything start to finish?


About 4-5 hours; however, that does not account for cutting which was time-consuming in itself.

Wow, that’s impressive! That would take me at least a week to figure out. Congratulations again!


What was your design concept?




My dress was inspired by the Trans-Pacific Garbage Patch, which is garbage vortex in the ocean that collects plastic from all around the world. The caution tape on my dress explains that we’re ruining our Earth bit by bit by throwing out plastic without regard for consequence. It shows our path to destruction, so we obviously want to stop that. This dress is completely made out of plastic I’ve slowly collected. I wanted to show how collecting plastic and recycling it (as you can see) can repurpose it to make something new and beautiful. That way instead of destroying our world, we can help by creating new things.






That’s right! We don’t need to create “new” plastic. We can take “old” plastic and make something fabulous like what you’re wearing right now. By the way, how did you make your warped ears? You come off as a very cutesy, futuristic, alien warning us to stop polluting our planet!


I put some old discs I had that didn’t work anymore into the oven for about 15 minutes. They just made different forms and shapes, and it was incredible. I originally wanted to put them on the dress and I didn’t like how that looked, so I improvised a look for the head.





Where did you source the plastic?

The plastic was used for construction. I had friends that were going to throw it away, so I decided to collect it. I’ve had it for about three years now and I didn’t know what to do with it. I’m so happy I got the opportunity to create something with it (so now I’m recycling it) at this event.

What inspired you to put the CDs in the oven?

I wanted a kinda glowy look for the dress. But when I saw it didn’t work out I wanted to do little pieces of CD’s so I cut them up as you can see on the top. But then I didn’t like them, so I just put them in the oven to see if it made different shapes, and they did. I was inspired by the things Alexander McQueen would make for his models, so I kind of did my own thing.

 As always!

What is EcoTech Visions?

EcoTech Visions was founded by Dr. Pandwe Gibson to support innovative and “environmentally conscious ideas that would otherwise remain dormant and inactive due to limited resource availability.” It is Miami’s first green incubator and makerspace that provides “green” entrepreneurs with the resources to support the development of products made with recycled materials and sustainable practices.



Rucht D’Oleo (founder of the Fashion Institute of South Florida) with Dr. Conway  (founder of EcoTech Visions) wearing a 3D printed necklace.

EcoTech takes a holistic approach to promote sustainability and bringing awareness to climate change by bringing in a myriad of climate-conscious members of the community including scientists, students, designers, and… the Climate Crusader?


That’s right! We bumped into Alexander Zastera, also known as the Climate Crusader, a superhero character he created to promote awareness and education on climate change. He explains that while sharing scientific data to the community is vital, it is also important to include some element of fun into the conversation. That’s where Climate Crusader comes in. We sat with him for a few minutes to explain his mission and why we need this modern day hero today.



Alexander Zastera as The Climate Crusader. Costume made by Krelwear, also a sustainable clothing company.

Hi Alex! So what exactly is your role here with EcoTech Visions?


I have a character called the Climate Crusader and I’ve been developing a Youtube Series for Children for climate change as a climate superhero. I’ve been doing public appearance throughout Miami as the character. So I’ve been trying to bring awareness and take the science of a lot of the things that have been happening and make it into a palpable story that everyone can understand. That’s one of the things that I think has been lacking in climate education.


So you’re creating “relatability”  in the climate change narrative.

Yes! So that’s where I come in with Dr.Conway. She’s one of the Earth heroes that I’m making. I’ve been making an environmental league of superheroes here in Miami. I’m developing a storyline that includes all these different people and in different spaces that are highlighted through the superhero narrative. A biopic of what’s happening with a superhero twist. 

We have three videos already filmed. One with the Youth Climate Strike and interviewing teens about what’s going on, How to Persuade a Polluter, and a Martha Stewart-esque video about how to make a recycled plastic planter. These are some ideas to get the ball rolling.


The heroes are out there, it’s just about bringing awareness since not everyone knows what’s going on yet.


The Youtube channel will be launched on Earth Day April 22nd. You can follow his Earth saving, sustainable journey at @climate.crusader on Instagram!

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