The annual Trashion Refashion event has inspired artistic designers, students, community members, and even children to find new ways to reuse discarded materials in a creative way. Open to all skill levels, anyone can submit their design and any model can walk the Trashion runway regardless of body type or experience. This year’s show is on April 8th and designs are now being accepted and are due by March 1st. More information about the event can be found at here.

PATTERN talked about the event with Trashion Project Manager, Stephen Hale, about the event and what audiences can expect.

Julie Valentine: Tell me a little bit about the the Trashion/Refashion Show and how it started.  
Stephen Hale: The show was started in 2010 by Jeanne Leimkuhler who was treasurer for the Center for Sustainability. Jeanne was looking for a signature fundraiser event, something that would be entertaining as well as educational on environmental issues.

JV: Why is it so important to have events like this and bring awareness to fashion and sustainability?  
SH: The show attracts participants who do not necessarily consider themselves artists or designers. When they see the concept of using recycled materials to make something they get inspired. The show is also very engaging for the audience who appreciate the designers’ creativity and the models’ flair.

JV: What are some the most memorable pieces you have seen on the runway?
SH: A pussy hat dress, a mermaid suit with scales cut from multi-colored 3 ring binder sheet lifters, a crown made from credit cards and aluminum foil, a sundress made with beer cans, a skirt made with wooden pencils.

JV: How have you seen this show impact audiences and have you seen a shift in the way people think about fashion and sustainability?  
SH: We see increased interest locally every year while trashion events are spreading around the country and the globe. Perhaps for economic as well as environmental reasons we see more and more resale shops and maker spaces in our community where people reuse, repair and repurpose materials.

JV: How has the turn out been the past few year and what are you expecting this year?  
SH: Last year we filled the theater which has over 500 seats.  Hope to do likewise this year.

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