The fast-paced fashion industry is all glitz and glam. But learning how to upcycle clothes, including using unusual materials, allows you to showcase your style while also keeping up with the latest trends without hurting Planet Earth.
The mentioned above is precisely what a 12-Year-Old girl from Far North Queensland did. She recently swiped into the limelight after creating a stunning full-length Ballgown using seed husks from mangoes. In total, Jessica Collins used 700 mangoes to sew her ivory dress – a part of her final Design and Technology project.
As part of a final Design and Technology project, Jessica Collins made a full-length Ballgown using 1400 seed husks from mangoes
The whole concept of making the sustainable outfit came after years of sighting overripe mangoes going to waste at her family’s farm. Jessica realized that something iconic could come out of the mangoes, so she started collating the tropical fruit seeds. After gathering the required, Jessica cut off the flesh and froze them for family smoothies.
She equally used pressure cleaner to strip the remaining fruit and dried them in the humidifier to prevent mold before slicing around the outside of the husk. ‘I checked the patterns of the husk and started to develop the corset and the dress itself. The seeds worked perfectly on the dress because they were flat and small. Once dried, the husk became a beautiful pearl color, so I decided to leave them natural.’ Jessica reportedly explained.
Jessica, a boarding student at Abbotsleigh School in Sydney’s Wahroonga, hand sewed on the husks in rows of 20. She completed the outfit using 1400 seed husks from an estimated 700 mangoes – an equivalent of 280 kilos of mangoes.
As part of the project submission, the teenager prepared an 80-page portfolio outlining the design process all the way. Interestingly, Jessica, amid the peak of COVID-19, spent about four months putting the outfit together. Nevertheless, her parents, Kylie and Sam Collins, have been growing Calypso mangoes on their farmland called Blushing Acres in North Queensland.
There’s good news: Jessica had recently got accepted into a nursing course, having completed her final HSC exams. She does hope to see the mango seeds turned into cotton fiber. ‘There’s a lot of waste in the mango industry, so I would love to see the seeds be made into wearable fiber like cotton, Jessica added.