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The Four

Elk Rapids High School Eco Club, Green Elk Rapids team up for Sustainable Style project

The Elk Rapids high school Eco Club along with Green Elk Rapids, put together a pretty cool idea at Tinker Tailor to help to continue to improve the environment.

“We had people donate dresses and also sign up for consignment and I think we had over 200 people donate dresses and we held a kickoff weekend. It was like two days. We had people come in and buy the dresses,” said Eco Club member, Kaylee Lemmien.

The project is called Sustainable Style, and it came from the realization of limited options here in Northern Michigan for students to shop for their prom and homecoming dresses. Meaning they were forced to travel downstate to shop or rely on fast fashion online. Ultimately hurting our planet.


“It introduced like a new idea to our community. I’ve never heard of someplace local doing this for formal wear before. Like you hear about like Goodwill or like Salvation Army or something. Like they have these thrift stores, but it’s for like all kind of clothing. And I’ve never heard it like some local business doing formal clothing. So it’s like kind of a new idea,” said Isabella Dolack another member.

But you might be wondering how these efforts can positively make an impact on our environment.

“People from like Traverse City, like Rapid City, Kalkaska, and all these neighboring towns, like instead of driving all the way downstate and using all these carbon emissions and kind of harming the environment and playing into fast fashion, they can come and get these reused dresses and stuff,” said club member, Gabe Kline.

“It may seem minuscule, but I mean, I think we sold 15 to 20 prom dresses in the first weekend, and that’s a lot of trips to Grand Rapids or Chicago,” Eco Club President, Zoe Macaluso said.


Most people purchase formalwear for one occasion, which makes this project at Tinker Tailor a perfect opportunity to upcycle clothing, save money, and most importantly, save the environment.

“This project also did a really nice job of kind of destigmatizing like second hand shopping for formal events because I feel like a lot of people are kind of almost have like a bad idea or just have like the stigma built up around it. And it’s really great because you can find, you know, on brand thing, if that’s something that you’re worried about. You can find on brand prom dresses that are marked down. So, you know, like the average person can afford them,” said Vice President Belle Keely.

From prom to homecoming dresses and even mother of the bride formalwear, you can find exactly what you’re looking for or even donate and bring your dresses in to consign.

“I think it really showed that there’s lots of ways we can slowly like improve how we do things because everyone’s so used to driving like super fast to get a prom dress and stuff and it was like we just had to do this one, like simple kind of fix. It’s like, what else can we improve to slowly just start helping make our environment better and stuff,” said Kline.

To help support the Eco Club and Green E.R., the Sustainable Style project goes through May 31st and you can shop it at Tinker Tailor downtown Elk Rapids.

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