Return to site

How to start a Trashion Fashion Show

Trashion Fashion is a hot new global trend that can be seen scorching across runways at educational campuses, and community events. Trashion Fashion also has a boutique industry behind it made of small business people selling their one of a kind creations through online platforms or Earth-loving boutiques in the towns or cities in which they live.

Trashion Fashion Shows can be a fun way to introduce an audience to ideas surrounding recycling, upcycling, wearable art, as well as strengthen the future for the Trashion industry. We should want to make Trashion a worthwhile endeavor for aspiring designers, after all.

Although it might be helpful if you come from a design background, any person (who is willing to take on the task) can create a piece of trashion and also throw a show. So how do we start?

Disclaimer: This article is about the beginning steps of designing trashion for a Trashion Fashion show than the logistics of throwing an event, which will be discussed in a separate article. Also, tip one and two should be somewhat simultaneous as one might inspire the other and vice versa.

1. Start Collecting

Upcycled design can incorporate "trashion" but trashion is unique in that the idea is to use things that would normally be considered trash or recycling into the design. Upcycling on the other hand, can mean taking an old white t-shirt (that is not trash) and turning it into a tank top with fancy cutting techniques and adding some patches to make it "new". Trashion, would incorporate old materials you wish to recycle or would go to landfill such as say, soda-bottle pop-tabs being sewn into the shirt. Pure trashion is only using trash or recycling. Think along the lines of using lots of plastics, especially the un-recyclable kind. Since we are wanting to throw a Trashion Show, it is important to have the designs be trashion focused.

Where will you get your trash? Our answer is START COLLECTING!

Here's some tips and rules:

A) Clean trash only. It's okay if you need to wash it, but before it is stored, shared, or used for design, it should be cleaned and dried.

B) Find trash. It's sadly everywhere. You can organize or attend a beach clean-up or park clean-up which would create a statement in two different ways. If you plan a clean-up, there are certain rules that organizations follow for clean-ups such as wearing gloves, closed-toe shoes. Be careful handling or setting rules on how to dispose of fecally soiled items or medical waste (like needles) - these things should not be used in Trashion anyway as it goes back to our first rule, make sure it's clean before you use it.

C) Ask friends and family to set aside "cool looking trash" or recyclables for you to sort through later. If you ask friends and family, you suddenly inspire them to start looking at trash in a different way, perhaps as a valuable asset. Trashion is all about inspiration and education so this is a great way to inspire and educate more people.

D) Get the school involved. Schools can be a great resource, if you are an individual or group, to get involved as you can work with the entire school or perhaps the specific departments (like art, science, engineering). Sometimes big schools even have their own recycling programs.


If you are the school, ask your students to start collecting at home and ask other teachers to get involved. You might inspire the art department to infuse trash into their creations. A science or engineering teacher or department might be able help figure out ideas on how to literally create new materials out of certain collected items. Perhaps you can start your own recycling program at the school that helps serve all future Trashion shows. If you have a recycling program already, work with the head of that program so you can sort through or put aside particular items that will be useful to trashion design.

E) Work with local businesses. Go to town. Sometimes businesses have lots of one type of material waste. For instance, a big company might go through many pens in a year. Grocery stores would probably have lots of thin plastics available that help package bulk items.

F) Search your town. Go online. You might find a business such as L.A.'s "Trash for Teaching" that that has bulk waste material available to be turned into new upcycled things, such as trashion.

G) Zero Waste. Trashion helps us give new life to waste items that might not necessarily be used again. However, in the creation of anything there is often waste. To try and minimize trashion waste, look into creating ecobricks out of left over materials that might not be able to be traditionally recycled. Ecobricks can then serve as another example educational tool or if you create enough, you can make stools for the trashion show!

2. Vision Boards - Finding Inspiration

Go online. Search in the images tab of your search engine for "trashion fashion", "trashion fashion show". You will find a lot of images so look for something that calls to you. Either create a digital or material "vision board". To make a digital one, use Pinterest, a Google Doc, a Powerpoint or a Word Processing document. If you want to make a material one, we suggest you use recycled cardboard.

A vision board is a place to collect the images that inspire you, and that you wish to manifest either in elements or complete form later. A second stage of vision boarding might be to create a "mood board" which could be incorporated into your vision board or created separately. "Mood boards" take into consideration color themes for the design job, as well as other design elements depending on what is being designed. Initially you might like many different designs. That's okay - collect all the images that inspire you and you will naturally refine it later.

3. Get to work

Now that you are inspired and have some material, it's time to get to work! Not a designer? That's okay. Go to YouTube and start searching for tips on design both trashion specific as well as upcycled and regular fashion. If you are making a dress you can simply type in "dress making tips" as something said in a video about regular dress-making as it might still apply to your trashion design. If you are not working by yourself, work in groups to inspire one another. You can play a game of sorting through trash collections and asking one another "how could we use this?"

4. Accessorizing

You will want to accessorize your outfit/s with earrings, bracelets/bangles, necklaces, belts, shoes, hats, headpieces. Although you can search for trashion accessories, you will find a lot by searching "upcycled accessories" since most upcycled accessories are made from things that would be considered waste.

5. Ask for Help

Whether you are a teacher trying to help your students or you are an individual, ask for help. Reach out to people or organizations online that have design or trashion specific experience and see if they will give you some advice. Also, think about the people within your friend/family circle as well as local businesses in your community (tailors, art schools, boutiques) that you could pay a visit to and see if they can provide any design tips.

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!