“The object is not to purchase anything. It’s to use recycled items.”
ST. LOUIS — A mother and daughter in University City are on a mission to bring attention to the local fashion industry.
“Looking at all of the bad things people do in fashion,” said Audrey Jones.
When she says bad things, Jones means the materials that are often thrown away and dumped into landfills.
“We have been a nation, a world of just been disposing of materials,” said Dorothy Davis.
The pair started the Mannequin Project to help cut back on the waste. The idea is for the discarded items to be made into artworks by dressing up mannequins that are positioned along Delmar in University City.
“I think that’s really phenomenal,” Davis told 5 On Your Side.
The pieces used in the creations include bottle caps, coffee beans, old records and worn out tires.
“The object is not to purchase anything. It’s to use recycled items,” said Jones.
The items are collected from various business along Delmar and are at the heart of the challenge of the annual project. They’ve been holding it in University City for 13 years.
“I think it’s very competitive,” said Jones.
The competition calls for prospective designers to use their imaginations. People have come from near and far to participate.
“We have some very unique talent,” said Jones. “Painters. We have musicians. We have schoolteachers. We have those people who have that inner-artist in them,” said Davis.
The designs need to be not only creative but also durable because they stay on display along the street for 13 weeks.
“It has to sustain the weather,” said Jones.
Sustainability is the vision behind the project. They want to help save the planet by showing people the potential in the things they may otherwise toss out.
“It’s just making the community more aware,” explained Davis.
The mannequins may also give the community a glimpse into the future of fashion.
“I can see this becoming more of a fashion icon down the road,” said Jones.
The finale for the project is Sunday, June 12 at University City Hall. Each mannequin will be there. The winning artists will receive prizes. They will also award the Dorothy Davis scholarship to three University City High School students.
If you would like to learn more about the Mannequin Project, click here.