Oregon high school providing students | kgw.com

PORTLAND, Oregon — Students at Grant High School are giving new life to recycled items in partnership with the Portland Fashion Institute (PFI). On Thursday, they put their creations on display to sell.

“I just love working with these students and we’ve been working on this for 6 weeks. Think about that! They pulled this off in 6 weeks,” said Sharon Blair, the director of PFI. “They’re the most ingenious, problem-solving, positive and constructive [students].”

Blair helped guide these students with in-school pop-up shops featuring their sustainable fashions for their peers to buy.

All 14 groups, with about five to seven students each learned how to sew, repair and pick old garments to create new ones in their screen printing class. Which allows students to have the freedom to put their imagination to the test including grant students Ani Rattay and Joaquin Kieffer.

“Our group, we made bags made out of old jeans. A lot of other people are making shirts out of other shirts,” said Kieffer.

“I think it’s really important to let students have an outlet like this. I did not expect how many people would be in there and what kids at our school could make,” added Rattay.

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Other students tell KGW they’re surprised at how receptive their peers were to the pop-up shops.

“I think there was a lot more people than I thought there would be,” said Frances Richardson, a senior at Grant High School.

Richardson decided to use her three years of experience from class to join the movement in making recycled crocheted pouches.

“We cut up a t-shirt and made it into yarn, and then we did a crochet kind of thing with reused t-shirts,” said Richardson. “Then we created a nice pouch with buttons, and we also made some jean pouches with patchwork.”

The students loved the pop-up event, telling KGW they would love to see this happen again in the near future.

“I think everybody has put so much time and effort into their creations. I think that it’s really amazing — I think that it is everything that I thought it would be and more,” said Grant High School student Romeo Lamorticella-Fox.

Other students said this class inspired them to pursue a future in business and fashion. And they hope other students find the passion this partnership brought them.