A wearable arts fashion show project has been an educational and creative process for people involved in Idea Services' Whanganui branch activities.

Vocational services manager Jo Smith said about 30 people with intellectual disabilities are using recycled items to create outfits for the Dare to be Different wearable arts fashion show to be held at the Castlecliff Club on July 26.

"It started off that we would do it vocationally but then the whole branch got involved," Smith said.

"Everyone is making costumes using recyclable things. It's been two-fold - they have figured out about recycling and then they have been making costumes out of it.


"People who didn't believe they were creative have become creative. We asked them what they are interested in and they have made costumes based on that. One lady likes travelling on buses so we got bus tickets and she has used them in her outfit.

"Everyone has been involved, helping with getting pieces, coming up with ideas. They have been making it themselves and they're all excited. They have helped each other which has been really good. It's a lot of fun and it's great to see the guys involved in it.

"It's been amazing what we have dragged up. We have been getting recyclables from the Hospice shops and Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre - they have been fantastic."

Costumes have been created using all kinds of recycled items including toilet rolls, drinking straws, bottle tops, fabric, coffee sachets, food packets, newspapers and plastic.

Area manager Fiona Miller-Hamilton said they had started with the idea of doing a fashion show but it evolved into making costumes using recycled materials and expanded to include people from all 23 IHC homes in Whanganui.

"Around the different facilities there's a bit of a hum," Miller-Hamilton said.

"Some of them have said 'I'm not going to show you what I've made until the day'."

It was decided to make the fashion parade extra-special by going off-site from Alma Gardens where many of the outfits have been created as part of the activities programme.


The Castlecliff club venue will have an archway made out of recycled materials for participants to walk through and a red carpet for them to walk down. The costumes will be judged by Paula Wade and Carla Jayne Smith, with prizes for the winners.

"We hope people will come along to see it," Smith said.

The show is at 11am-1pm on Friday, July 26, at the Castlecliff Club. Free entry.