Trash the Runway debuts at Macky with 25 young designers strutting in eco-friendly couture – Colorado Daily


Gum wrappers, empty chip bags and discarded magazine pages might not seem like the elements of a jaw-dropping outfit, but – for imaginative Trash the Runway attendees – they’re as good as cashmere. , silk and fine linen.

Desi Carr sews while working on a Trash the Runway garment at Common Threads in Boulder on Tuesday. (Matthew Jonas/staff photographer)

Thursday’s event which features recycled creations from local middle and high school students will be held at Macky Auditorium – the same venue it was scheduled to take place in 2020, but was canceled due to COVID.

That year, the organizers were determined to create a virtual platform for participants to showcase their work and they did so with pre-recorded catwalk spacers broadcast on Boulder Channel 8 and online.

“We are thrilled to have the show for the first time in the beautiful Macky Auditorium,” said Tanja Leonard, Executive Director of Trash the Runway. “After all the hard work they put into creating their clothes, it will be amazing for the designers to showcase their designs in person again. We love the feel-good energy it brings not just to the participants, but to the community as a whole.

Olivia Beresford models her own design, made from repurposed materials, as part of Trash the Runway in 2019. (Marla Rutherford/Courtesy Photo)

This year, 25 designers spent countless hours at Creative Lab Boulder’s Trash the Runway base at Common Threads, where the magic of creation and transformation takes place.

“We’re looking forward to having a live show this year after having to go virtual in 2020 – after the designers had already finished their garments,” Leonard said. “In 2021, we were unable to have in-person workshops or a show. Instead, we offered four monthly prompts for kids to create pieces and pitch them to us on a Zoom call.

While seeing the various creations on screen was a hit, nothing compares to seeing the detail and ingenuity of the artwork brought to light up close.

“The designers are once again showing incredible creativity in using waste materials – from coffee bags to inner tubes, there will be never-before-seen materials on stage,” Leonard said. “Each year, the silhouettes are different. Designers are influenced by what they see around them.

The program has attracted returning designers who each year aim to overcome new hurdles and raise the bar for looks.

Elizabeth Marr cuts threads while working on part of a Trash the Runway garment at Common Threads in Boulder on Tuesday. (Matthew Jonas/staff photographer)

“I’ve been designing clothes for six years now and I love it,” said Lydia Serbinin, a 17-year-old junior at Fairview High School in Boulder. “I keep coming back because I find joy in the challenge of finding new materials and new ideas every year. I seek out non-recyclable materials throughout the year. There is no other place like this to be surrounded by such an eco-conscious community.

For Serbinin, like many longtime attendees, it’s also about the camaraderie shared around sewing machines and nights of brainstorming and creating.

“Other designers and I get inspired every year,” Serbinin said. “In the past, I’ve created clothes from candy wrappers, bathing caps, bicycle tubes, cans, bubble wrap, magazines and more. My favorite was a dress paired with a floor-length bike tube “leather” coat.

Each Trash the Runway presents a new opportunity to push the boundaries with the materials used and the designs executed.

“I’m going particularly big this year,” Serbinin said. “I did everything I could to wow the judges and the audience. It’s extravagant, but very elegant. Some of the materials I’ve used are polystyrene, thin plastic sheets and gardening tape.

On Tuesday, Zoe Mertz sews while working on part of a Trash the Runway garment at Common Threads in Boulder. (Matthew Jonas/staff photographer)

While creators are welcome throughout the years, Trash the Runway is also a place where new talent shines.

“I grew up watching Trash the Runway and had a lot of people I know do it,” said first-time entrant Bridger Kripke, whose sister and friends Pressley and Margo Church designed for the long-time event. “The process and the show have always blown me away and I’ve been meaning to participate for a while.”

Kripke, 12, a seventh-grade student at Casey Middle School in Boulder, has always been drawn to the art of fashion.

“When I was younger, I used to take my mom’s old clothes and turn them — using our sewing machine — into outfits for my dolls,” Kripke said. “My mom would challenge me and my sister like creating an outfit for the doll to wear on the first day of school.”

Not only is it a creative endeavor for Kripke, but it’s also a way for her to reuse objects that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Desi Carr reviews pocket placement while working on a Trash the Runway garment at Common Threads in Boulder on Tuesday. (Matthew Jonas/staff photographer)

“I’m very passionate about the environment and the impact humans have on it,” Kripke said. “Combining my love for creating, the inspiring people in my life, and my dedication to the environment, Trash the Runway was one of my big goals this year.”

Kripke constructed a hula-inspired skirt made of dried markers as one of her pieces.

“The experience has been amazing,” Kripke said. “People are so supportive, even though you have to start over like a million times. They’re there when you need them to help you learn to create things you’ve never created before.

The right outfit can set the mood for the whole day and the creations made by these young designers can certainly act as a confidence armor.

On Tuesday, Riley Kingdom cut parts while working on a Trash the Runway garment at Common Threads in Boulder. (Matthew Jonas/staff photographer)

“This year, my outfit is based on a warrior theme,” said Riley Kingdom, a 17-year-old contestant. “It is made primarily from melted milk bottle caps and strips of coffee bags cut into the shape of feathers on the skirt. The base of the skirt is recycled window screen, giving structure for the layers of coffee bag feathers to adhere and flow. It’s a wrap skirt that’s tied with a recycled bicycle tire inner tube.

Kingdom, a junior from Brightmont Academy in Broomfield, was due to model her production bag sewing for the first time at Macky’s in 2020, before the COVID-related cancellation of Trash the Runway.

“I wanted to come back for the full experience from start to finish,” Kingdom said.

Just like the contestants seen on the hit show “Project Runway”, participants in Trash the Runway learn how to make it work.

“Watching them grow as individuals in their creativity, their sense of design and their skill in putting clothes together is one of the most rewarding parts for us,” Leonard said. “Overcoming so many challenges in the process – from unusual materials to COVID – they show such resilience and determination.”

Riley Kingdom is sprayed with temporary golden hair dye to test out makeup options for Trash the Runway in Boulder on Tuesday. (Matthew Jonas/staff photographer)

In addition to a set, each designer must create an accessory. Earrings, handbags and the like will be made from a variety of items that are considered waste.

“Everything they wear has to be made from scrap except for their shoes – although some may choose to create them as well,” Leonard said.

From a tuxedo jacket with tin foil detailing to a textured skirt made from salvaged toothpaste boxes, the amount of stunners that have been made over the years is enormous.

“Many of our designers have participated for multiple years, so we can see their growth not only during the eight weeks of work on this year’s show, but during their middle school and high school years,” Leonard said.

Coulter Clifford walks the runway wearing his own design, made from repurposed materials, at Trash the Runway in 2019 at the Boulder Theater. (Marla Rutherford/Courtesy photo)

Tickets for the 12th annual Trash the Runway are $25 and the show begins at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“I love seeing the public be amazed and inspired by the beautiful clothes, seeing the realization that this is what goes in the trash every day in our city, our country and the world,” Leonard said.


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