When Traci Price found a hot pink raft abandoned on the banks of the Clackamas River last summer, her first instinct was, naturally, to take it home and make an outfit out of it. The result is a sporty and spacey head-to-toe garment, complete with sunglasses made from the busted brake light on her car, that she calls "Beached Male."
While in years past, Junk to Funk designers have displayed their couture trashion in a competitive runway fashion show, this year, they hosted a gallery event that relaunched the organization as the Junk to Funk Trashion Collective, a year-round waste-awareness program focused on creating wearable art for different audiences.
"We want to inspire people to think differently about their consumption and disposal habits and choices," said co-founder Lindsey Newkirk. "It's more creative and fun and impactful for us to be out in the community [year-round] than have a one-night runway show."
In its new form, Junk to Funk will offer summer camps and school programs that inspire kids to think differently about waste, mini runway trashion shows that provide entertainment at other organizations' events and a service that uses businesses' waste to create trashion and tell their sustainability stories.
In the packed gallery at Boothster on Saturday night, wine- and beer-sipping attendees mingled amidst mannequins wearing outfits—all quite stunning—made from things like airplane blankets, mini blinds, shredded bike tires and plastic grocery bags, things that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.
Here's what a few of the designers had to say about their pieces:
Designer: Rio Wrenn
Design: Tea Time
Materials: 1,400 tea bags, tea paper, bra parts, tea stained linen, leather for the bustle.
Wrenn's favorite tea: "I like Earl Grey. I switched to green for a while, but I went back to black because I was tired from working so much."
Designer: Emily Hyde
Materials: Binders, window screen, vinyl barrier.
A different mindset: "You can look at your entire world and see junk as something you can do things with. It's the shift of, 'What if I look at this in a different light?' 'Can it mean something different?'"
Designer: Jen LaMastra
Design: Screened Nihilist
Materials: Window screen, silver mini blinds, pop tab tops, bike tire tubing.
The hardest part: "The challenge is how can you make screening look ornate and elegant and sexy."
Designer: Ruth Waddy
Design: Bible Fatigues
Materials: Bible pages, plastic film.
A long time coming: "I've been wanting to do that one for a long time because my dad is career Air Force. I have a complicated relationship with the Bible. I'm working some stuff out."