In Nigeria, The Green Fingers Wildlife Initiative Trashion Show is an annual fashion event that celebrates creative fashion design and promotes waste reduction and sustainability.
Since its inception in 2012, models grace the runway wearing outfits made from items many people would normally throw in the rubbish.
Plastic waste and litter, however, are ubiquitous in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital and Africa's most populous country. All of Africa is faced with this problem and with an estimated population of 25 million, Lagos generates thousands of tonnes of waste every day.
The Green Fingers Wildlife Initiative, a non-profit conservation group funded by donations, works with young people to campaign for a better environment.
"We started the Trashion Show with making artwork, then we said why don’t we get a bit more creative to take it a step further to have this trash made into clothing, styled, and worn and we walk on the runway to raise awareness concerning issues like plastic pollution, pollution in general which also affects wildlife," explained the organization’s founder, Chinedu Mogbo.
"All the products we’ve used in designing all these trashion dresses, they can be recycled for something else, so that’s the essence of the whole thing. So, the process is not easy gathering all these bottles and bottle caps and trying to get the nylons, we picked some nylons, we go to the beach, pick some these things and then gather them together and use them to make something that someone can wear." says fashion designer Joy Udoka-Obi.
Managing garbage disposal in Nigeria has grown to be a significant challenge despite several efforts by succeeding governments and commercial organizations in that regard.
15-year-old model Eyeoyibo Joyce and other youngsters want to draw attention to this huge problem of their country and continent.
Joyce says, "My advice to people living in Lagos and across Nigeria is in treatment of their waste, they shouldn’t treat waste anyhow, reduce, reuse, recycle is the thing they should go for. You should also discard them properly not on the floor lying around."
The environmental activists have been partnering with teenagers in their drive for a better, cleaner environment. And although the medium is uncommon, the message behind it is undeniable.