Green Design, Sustainability, and Empowerment

During their Green Design unit, ninth grade students in their first year of design study researched the concept of micro loans and how they are given to women in developing countries to use for starting a small business. By reading case studies the students discovered that the businesses usually involve the design and making of a sustainable product. Most of the products are handmade and use local resources that align with green design standards. The girls were so inspired by the empowering effect the micro loan programs had on these women that they focused their green design project on creating sustainable clothing from recycled and natural based materials. Pictured are two designs that are made from the canvas of painters’ tarps, non- toxic dyes, and all sewn by hand. These designs were created by (left to right) Catherine Loder, Gina Rienzo, Kate Burgess and Colleen Egan.

Kali Lambrou, STEM teacher at Trinity Hall, remarked, “This was a challenging project because handmade designs need physical skills that students today don’t always possess. But the students embraced the task of sewing, and the results show they have acquired a necessary skill that can always be of use. The most important take away, though, was the understanding of how design can transform lives. The unique products that result from micro loan programs are giving women across the world the freedom to create their own life path and stimulate their local economy. I loved this project!!”

Does your school do something similar?

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