Action 148. Create trashion!

This Spring I worked with a team of friends to put together our community’s first ever Trashion Show. What is a trashion show, you might ask? Its a creative celebration of the ways in which we can reuse and upcycle materials to make clothes that range from completely functional and wearable to haute couture impractical fun.

Trashion shows have been around a long time, and you can find long-running examples of these events from the east coast to the San Juans. For our show, we invited local artists, designers, and anyone with an interest in creating new fashions from upcycled, recycled, or repurposed materials. We put together a panel of local judges and awarded several prizes, and created a presentation to share during the show with more information about the environmental impacts of the fashion industry and how we as consumers can make a difference with our choices about how and where we buy clothing. We also hosted a mid-show contest in which contestants had 15 minutes to create a fashion look out of a box of diverse materials.

girls sundresses

I created a pair of matching sundresses for my daughter and her friend using chip bags sewn on to an old duvet cover as a liner. The girls created flower accessories for their hair that were made from contact lens cases, pieces of a mylar balloon, and apple sauce covers.

In creating the educational materials for our show, I was astounded to learn about the scale of impacts the fashion industry has on the environment and on climate change. Just a few of the many Trashion Facts we created for the show include:

  • In 2012 in the US, we sent 12 million tons, or 70 lbs per person, of textiles to the landfill.
  • It takes up to 2,900 gallons of water to produce a single pair of jeans.
  • Today’s textile industry is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases on earth.

Because this was our first ever trashion show, we had no idea what to expect in terms of audience interest, but were thrilled when we completely packed the venue! It was an incredibly fun, and informative, event and a great way to share information about the impacts of our fashion culture and how we as consumers can make a difference.

You can read more about the Trashion Show here in a wonderful blog by Beth Robson.


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