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Franklin High School students showcase repurposed clothing in fashion show featuring Goodwill finds

(FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL – June 1, 2023) – Franklin High students hit the runway last month for an eco-friendly fashion show with vintage finds from Goodwill Industries.

The high energy show featured 19 models strutting up and down the gym runway with a variety of thrifty looks from regular school wear to prom wear and more. The student models received two vouchers valued at $50 for clothing and were given a category for their runway debut.

“A lot of times when you get into high school, how you dress has a big impact versus when you are in middle school and have to wear a uniform,” junior Kersten Lara, who coordinated the event as part of the Pride and Patriotism committee. “I wanted to let people know that you can still dress the way you want without it being expensive. It also helps with eco-fashion because clothing often gets thrown away when it can easily be reused.”

Clothing donations to Goodwill Industries in El Paso spares area landfills from more than 6 million pounds of clothing.

“We repurpose just about everything we get in donations,” said Melinda Jordan, Goodwill El Paso president and CEO. “The majority of our donations are textile or household goods.”

Jordan sat among the crowd watching her stores’ fashions creatively see new life on the teen models. She was also eager to share the mission of Goodwill with students and even hoped some might consider a part-time job at one of the stores.

“The students did an outstanding job,” she said. “We hope we helped give them a bird’s-eye view of what we do and how we can help. We’d love to employ some of these students because of their high energy.”

Goodwill provides skills training and work opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment. Eighty-five percent of what’s earned in their seven retail shops stays in the community. The fashion show shed light on the importance of donations and the environmentally friendly benefits of thrift shopping.

“Sustainability and protecting our environment also are key to our mission,” Jordan said.

The campus’ partnership with Goodwill goes further than the fashion show. A large Goodwill donation bin is located on campus and the school receives funds every time it fills up. So far, the school has filled it three times and hopes to use the funds to buy a new marquee.