When you look in your wastebasket, fashion probably isn’t the first thing that leaps to mind. That is, unless you’re Elizabeth Rose, founder of Rubbish to Runway.
While on a family trip to Guatemala several years ago, Elizabeth visited Parque Chimiyá, a recreational area owned by Long Way Home (LWH), a registered US 501(c)3 whose mission is to “use sustainable design and materials to construct self-sufficient schools that promote education, employment and environmental stewardship.” At Parque Chimiyá, children could bring plastic bottles as their admission fee, bottles that later would be used by LWH to construct schools.
LWH’s mission and its positive impact on the community struck a chord with Elizabeth, so much so that she got involved and served as president of its board of directors. She was also inspired to create Rubbish to Runway, a series of fashion shows that raise funds for Long Way Home.
Have you ever watched Project Runway and seen the unconventional materials challenge? Designers are asked to make couture from things like party materials, electrical wiring, and other non-traditional textiles. Rubbish to Runway takes that creativity to the next level by requiring its participating designers to make wearable art from discarded materials, and the results are spectacular.
More than just a fabulous fundraiser, Rubbish to Runway nurtures a sense of community and inspires everyone to look at waste with fresh eyes. Comprising events that each reflect the flavor of their unique localities, Rubbish to Runway designers don’t have to be graduates of fashion school. They can be mother-daughter teams, teachers, or artists—simply put, anyone with the vision and know-how to create a great garment out of, well, trash.
Tickets sales are only part of the event’s fundraising efforts. The original Rubbish To Runway, which takes place annually in Salisbury (get more details below), has both a silent and live auction. The prizes, like the event, are fierce! Bidders can win a week in Martha’s Vineyard, a divine purse made of pop-tops from cans, the opportunity to choose the name of a character in a popular mystery novel, a stunning quilt, and more. Plus, this year, there will be a 50/50 raffle, for which Elizabeth bought raffle tickets from Eventgroove.
To bid on that trip to Martha’s Vineyard, buy tickets for the Salisbury Rubbish to Runway, which will take place on October 14. Other upcoming shows include the fabulous drag queen Rubbish to Runway in Edmonton, Canada on July 30 and an event in Hermosa Beach, CA on September 9. Buy tickets for any or all the runway shows here.