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Trash to Fashion® attracts American interest

3 July 2003

Press release

Trash to Fashion® attracts American interest

Registrations for New Zealand’s premier recycled fashion event, Trash to Fashion®, are coming from as far away as the United States.

Argentinian-born Aidana Baldassarre, of Boston, Massachussetts, found out about the annual Waitakere City event while surfing the Internet for recycling innovations.

The 35-year-old public health researcher says she is a strong supporter of the ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ message and has a passion for transforming rubbish into works of art. She jumped at the opportunity to participate, even though she cannot afford to fly to Waitakere to see her garment on the catwalk. She is entering a dress in the glamorous and theatrical Club Trashedelic category.

“I do not believe in consumerism, so I do recycle almost everything I have, like clothing and furniture,” she says.

“I think I learnt that from my mother back in Argentina. She is a great artist and has been working with paper mache, creating all kinds of sculptures. My house is full of art made out of things that other people consider trash. I love the challenge of transforming it, like an alchemist, into something useable or an art piece.”

Registrations for the popular event close on 11 July. Garments are due in by 27 September. Entries are received from throughout the country.

This year’s show is themed around a journey through “the eight wonders of an eco-city” – allowing plenty of scope for wild and imaginative garments to be created from the rubbish we find around us.

Presented by Waitakere City Council in partnership with the originators, Keep Waitakere Beautiful, Trash to Fashion® attracts entries from a variety of age groups, cultures and abilities, including emerging and established designers and school students.

Project Director, Amanda Wright, says the event is a positive and effective vehicle for raising awareness about the serious amount of rubbish we produce as a consumer culture.

“The show uses art, fashion and entertainment to deliver its ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ message in a fun and festive way.”

For a registration form, phone the Council’s 24-hour Call Centre on 839 0400 or download a form from the Council’s website
Trash to Fashion® workshops

People wanting help with designing and creating a garment for this year’s Trash to Fashion® Awards, can join one of three workshops at the Corban Estate Arts Centre.

Separate workshops are available for adults, secondary school students and primary and intermediate school students.

Over three days, students can construct their garments under the guidance of award-winning Trash to Fashion® tutors and get tips on make-up and choreography. The fee is $90 per person. Start gathering materials now to bring to the first class.

The adults’ two-day “Recycling Fashion” workshops are run by tutor Kat Skinner, who will revisit the thrifty era of home sewing to get the customized look of today. Participants will be encouraged to revamp and reuse, creating an embellished, deconstructed-reconstructed garment. Reinvent your current wardrobe, create something completely new out of the old, or work towards a Trash to Fashion® entry. The fee is $110 per person.

Workshop details:

Adults: Sat 26 July & Sat 2 August 10am-4pm $110 per person

Secondary school students: Mon 14, Fri 18 & Sat 19 July 10am–3pm
$90 per person

Primary and intermediate students: Mon 14, Wed 16 & Thurs 17 July 10am-3pm
$90 per person

To register for workshops, phone Diane on 838 4455 or email

Trash to Fashion® categories 2003

We invite you to create garments for the ‘Eight Wonders of the Eco-City’:

- Rainforest: Littered with flowers, nuts, berries, leaves and bark, the floor of the mighty rainforest extends to the shores of our beaches where the great oceans toss up fauna and flora. Hunt and gather for organic materials and adorn yourself in gifts from Mother Nature.

- Global Village: Picture the place where all cultures of our globe live in harmony – a melting pot where the blend of colours, textures and sounds is woven into the fabric of society. Weave the threads of your ancestors into a garment that reflects the vitality of your culture.

- Smash Palace: Fossick around in this graveyard of discarded machines, industrial leftovers and technology that’s passed its use-by-date. Bring science and art together, re-assemble the rejected into futuristic fashion, and fast-forward into the next century.

- Club Trashedelic: From this celebrity stage, fabulously bizarre characters entrance with extravagance. In theatrically dazzling debris, drama queens reign and divas dominate. Whether it’s a night at the opera, carnival or cabaret, ‘putting on the garbage glitz’ is a prerequisite.

- The House of Hercules: Made in New Zealand, this legendary label is masculine, sexy and sustainable. Catering for ‘Everyman’ from super-hero to house-husband, ‘Herc’ designs dress the eco-wise male in the finest found objects with deluxe garbage gear for all those manly occasions.

- Cutting Edge: The hub of the ‘deconstruct-reconstruct-reinvent’ revolution is this unique boutique stocked with the latest in street-cred garb. Retrieve cast-offs and off-cuts from the style margins and turn the pre-loved and out-of-date into the upbeat urban fashion of now.

- New School of Cool (secondary students): An awesome space to hang out, where respect for the youth is what it’s all about. You’ve got the latitude to treat trash with attitude, so empty the bin and get stuck in. Be a legend in your lunchtime, construct a costume that's sublime.

- Otherland (primary & intermediate students): Recycling rules on this planet where only kids are allowed to visit. Dream up the fantasy friend you want to see in a place where all kids are what they want to be. The dress code is ‘fantastical’ as you transform trash into the magical.


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