MORGANTOWN — A Point Pleasant Jr./Sr. High School alumna is finding a way to combine and showcase two of her passions during her college experience at West Virginia University.
Harlee Ziegler, a junior in the fashion design program at WVU, recently created a dress made from everyday greenhouse materials, which will be featured in the WVU Eansdale Greenhouse and online.
“This dress helps promote sustainability and fashion — both of which I am passionate about,” Ziegler said.
Ziegler’s project, “Shades of Green: Sustainable Design Meets Fashion,” features a dress primarily made of shade cloth, which is a recycled plastic mesh plant covering that the WVU Evansdale Greenhouse has used to tick plants into detecting and absorbing less sunlight.
The goal of the dress is to promote sustainability in the fashion industry, leave a smaller carbon footprint and create less waste in fashion manufacturing houses, Ziegler said.
Ziegler said she initially wanted to create a dress made entirely out of flowers, but the design wasn’t feasible. This led her to choose to make the dress out of shade cloth.
“Sustainability is a big trend in the fashion industry right now,” she said.
The dress also features burlap ribbon around the waist and along the front top half of the dress to create a stripped pattern. Burlap sacks, which flower and vegetable seeds are often storied in in bulk, served as another inspiration for the dress.
Ziegler said taking the time to apply her classroom knowledge to her passions has contributed to her success, and she encourages other college students and high school students thinking about going to college to use their time at school wisely.
“Take advantage of your time in college,” she said. “You’re paying to be here.”
Ziegler’s project will be displayed at the WVU Evansdale Greenhouse, under the direction of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, for new horticulture students to see. It will also be featured in a student profile on the home page of WVU’s website at www.wvu.edu.