Be a Designer — Create a “Wow”

The purpose of the Rubbish to Runway Fashion Show is to promote reuse as a higher value in a wasteful world and to raise funds to support a sustainable school complex in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala.

To ethically support this cause, all designer garments must be created from discarded materials, and utilized in unusual and inventive ways. The creative results are wearable art that surprises on the runway. Your fashion should create a “WOW!” experience for an audience, as in, “WOW, what a creative use of dryer lint! I never knew it could become a hat that looks like velvet!”

Acceptable submissions

  • Trashions are made of materials that are left over or de-constructed from another project or objects. These can be industrial or home materials, such as all forms of packaging and industrial waste. These materials can be applied to clothing in creative and pleasing ways. Past examples include: bottle caps flattened and sewn on an out-of-date blouse to create a shimmering top; old sports equipment deconstructed to make an outfit; flattened bicycle inner tubes stapled together to imitate a leather mini-skirt; bread package tabs assembled into a pattern and fastened to a dress made from leftover fabric.

  • Avant-garde fashions are constructed completely of discarded materials made to seem like something other than what it is and made without benefit of a pre-existing fashion. It is truly wearable art. Examples include: A kite dress made from old deconstructed and reconstructed kites, a plastic bag dress made from plastic bags, a dress made from an old wetsuit, a shawl made from industrial fencing, a warrior outfit made from papier-maché and hand-painted, an overcoat made from interior industrial screening.

  • Refashions are designs of functional and wearable clothing made from deconstructed garments and fabrics. “Refashioning” means using old, tattered or out-of-style garments or materials reconstructed into something entirely new. Refashions are wearable and to be enjoyed past the show.


  • Ninety percent of all materials in each design must be headed to the landfill, or the recycle bin, if not for your reuse or rescue.

  • New construction materials can be used to fasten the fashion together but should not exceed ten percent of the fashion.

Unacceptable Materials

  • Unsafe materials that emit odors, fumes, toxins or chemicals.

  • Materials that are sharp or poorly fastened to the garment.

  • Materials that might spoil, such as food products.

Submission Process

  • Complete this form below.

  • If required, send in your registration fee (see below for details)

  • Submit a photo or sketch of your design(s) even if unfinished at the time of application.

  • Submit an artist statement about your creation including:

    • Information about your design, your background and training

    • Where to view your portfolio and past work, if applicable

    • Your intentions and/or inspiration, including any fun anecdotes about your piece.

  • If you already know the music you want for the runway, include the title and artist on the form.


Location Show Date Early Bird Registration Final Registration Registration Fee
Galleries At LynnArts (GALA) January 20, 2020 $25 $25
Lexington, MA May 15, 2020
Concord Academy, Concord, MA TBD

All funds go to support Long Way Home that uses sustainable design and materials to construct self-sufficient schools that promote employment and environmental stewardship. Those funds helped build classroom buildings and a library in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala. This year’s funds will sponsor students of the Centro Educativo Tecnico Chixot, Long Way Home's flagship school in Comalapa, Guatemala.

Name *
Address *
Description of Materials (include cost and approx. time to make):
Description of Materials (include cost and approx. time to make):
Description of Materials (include cost and approx. time to make):
Model *
Note: One rehearsal is mandatory for all models. Designers are encouraged to attend
Please describe the size & gender of the model needed.
Name and contact information including the email of the model.
I would like this music...
Tell us about yourself, your art, your involvement in the environment, anything relevant.