Canadian senior Erinne Paisley wanted to make a statement on graduation day. But she went a step further than just about anyone. The Victoria, British Columbia teenager made her dress out of her math homework in order to promote women’s education.
Malala is a non-profit women’s education organization founded last year in honor of 17-year-old Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Paisley is the cofounder of an activist group at her old high school, Action Now.
After crafting the garment from her old homework, black satin, and some velvet trim, Paisley took the money she would have spent on a new graduation dress and donated it to the charity instead.
After donating her own dress budget to Malala, Paisley realized she still wanted to do more, so she decided to create an online auction for the dress. So far bids have climbed to $600. Meanwhile, interest in Paisley herself has reached international levels.
The 18-year-old has already made a name for herself as an advocate for global education. In 2013, she was named an Education First Global Citizen. In the fall, she will be one of 11 National Scholars to study International Relations at the University of Toronto. She told Malala that she hopes to study International Law one day, and possibly work at the United Nations.
We have no doubt Paisley will continue to make an important contribution to society wherever she ends up. But hopefully, the sustainable fashion world just found its brightest new star.
Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.