The fashion in Haiti is about to get a little more Hi-Tech.
The Hi-Tech fashion group hosted a Dresses for Haiti service project Friday in the apparel design and manufacturing sewing lab. The finished dresses were donated to the Dresses for Haiti organization. In addition to those sewing in the lab, other members of the fashion group worked on dresses at home.
“We made a pattern for a 10-year-old size girl and now we’re cutting out the pieces,” Tiffany Caragan, a senior apparel design and manufacturing major from Andrews, said. “We’re trying to make them look nice as possible.“
According to the Dresses for Haiti website, more than 120 people from 14 different states have sewn 1,489 dresses. Those dresses have been delivered to Nehemiah Vision Missionaries, Healing Hands International, Famine Relief Foundation and various orphanages throughout the country on a regular basis since May 2010.
“They’re actually trying to move away from the pillowcase dresses,” Caragan said. “If you look at those dresses, they’re not like something they can really wear and be proud of. This organization tries to promote women’s rights in Haiti and women’s rights in general. We want to give these girls a sense of self and confidence and give them a choice. We want them to have something they can feel pretty in, something other than a pillow case dress with. I mean, it’s cute sometimes, but it’s not like they don’t have clothes, so they know what clothes are supposed to look like, so it’s not something they can wear all the time. We thought that we should be able to give them something they can wear and be proud of and not just something that’s given to them and they have to wear because it’s all they have.”
According to the Hi-Tech Fashion Group’s Facebook page, the purpose of the group is to promote knowledge of professional fields in the fashion industry. Any Texas Tech student is welcome to join regardless of major.
“I joined the group when I was a freshman,” Crystal Perez, a senior apparel design and manufacturing major from Weslaco, said. “It wasn’t really fashion-based back then. We did a lot of community service. It wasn’t until this year, actually, that we started doing a lot of fashion related stuff.”
Hi-Tech also hosts an Upcycle Competition for students to compete in by taking old clothes and turning them into new fashions. All of the entries are displayed at Culture Clothing on Broadway and will be judged during the First Friday Art Trail.
The group made a goal of sewing 15 dresses for the Little Dresses for Haiti charity, and Caragan said she hopes the group continues doing philanthropic projects.
“It’s something that I’m pretty passionate about,” she said. “I’m so thankful that I have people that are willing to help out. For Hi-Tech, it’s something they haven’t done before and I would want for us to keep being philanthropic and try to think about helping other people.”