New and exciting designs and trends are always popping up in the fashion industry but we bet you would never have picked that Coca Cola cans or old scrubbing brushes could become the next big thing?


Gold Coast fashion guru Nicole McNiven Corr has had more than two decades of experience in the rag trade. She’s enjoyed roles from fabric librarian at Triumph International to garment technologist at Ted Baker in London.


For years, Nicole has also focused on teaching clothing design to eager fashionistas via her position as fashion lecturer at the Australian Institute of Creative Design, but now she plans to mix things up by throwing recycled materials into the works.


“Seeing past the clothes hanging on racks in a store, I love quality, I love value for money and I love knowing how to keep people skilled, no matter where they live,” she says.


IMG_9129Nicole explains that she has always tried to lead a sustainable lifestyle. And, just like the next gal, she loves her shoes. Nicole admits she “basically just put the two passions into one idea”. Nicole is currently creating a sustainable footwear range that plays with interesting sandal designs that incorporate recycled materials such as cans, old tyres and scrubbing brushes. And she is teaching South-East Queenslanders how to do it as well, through the most interesting classes to hit the market in a long time. Participants in Nicole’s sustainable sandal-making workshops are encouraged to bring along old handbags, denim jeans, buttons, zips or anything that is lying around the house, for that matter. These materials will then be used to make the top section and strap elements of a pair of sandals. By the end of class, you will get to strap on your sandals and model them for the group over a nice cup of tea or coffee. Fashionista bliss!


But the fact that you will leave Nicole’s class with a completely unique and quirky pair of shoes is only half of it. By using recycled materials to make something brand new and usable, you will be doing the environment a massive favour too.


“I’m loving the next generation of ambitious creative fearless folk,” Nicole says. “I’m loving being able to impart my experience and my perspective.”


Sustainable Sandal-Making Workshops are regularly held at Ormeau Community Centre. Classes cost $70 per person ($120 for two people or $150 for three, when booked together). Check the website for future class dates // www.theporcelaintree.com.au


Words // Laura Markwort




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