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When we think about trash, we often
don't imagine the garments that we wear.
But when we're done with them, they also
end up in landfills, just like the trash
that we throw out every day.
The fashion industry is the second top waste-producing
industry in the world.
Our trend cycle moves extremely quickly,
which encourages consumers to purchase and dispose
at a rapid rate, but that leads to a lot of damage
to our environment from the waste produced by our garments.
The MIT Trashion Show is an annual fashion show
put on by MIT's Undergraduate Association's Committee
on Sustainability.
And every year, we invite designers
from all over the Boston community
to design garments out of unconventional or up-cycled
materials, and then have them shown at our fashion show.
The show started 11 years ago, and we've
come a long way since then.
But the Trashion Show's main goal
remains the same as it did when it started,
which is to promote awareness about the waste
that the fashion industry produces,
and spark conversation about where our clothes come from,
how they were made, and where they
go once we're done with them.
Designers are encouraged to use trash, or recycled materials,
or materials that would otherwise
be thrown away, in order to create pieces that can be worn.
So past materials have included newspapers, soda boxes,
soda cans, electrical wires, and things like that.
Clothing is usually very flowy.
It's very organic, and needs to mold
to the shape of a human body.
So working around those material properties can be difficult.
Typically, the designer that wants to participate
is someone that wants to tackle a challenge.
They come from all majors and all backgrounds,
but ultimately, they're looking for a creative outlet.
It's not very easy to create a garment out of trash,
and it takes a lot of time.
So these people are driven by risk taking.
And they want to make a product that otherwise wouldn't exist.
The Trashion Show actually takes a lot of work to organize.
You need to have AV.
You need to talk to Facilities, book a venue,
and then also keep track of all the models and designers who
are participating in the show.
Often, people are just really amazed
to see a product that they had just thrown away
worn on someone's body, and worn in a way that is a functional
That's something that people don't usually
get to see around campus.
When it comes to judging, we have
a panel of three judges, all related to sustainability,
but also coming from different disciplines.
We provide them a set of criteria
that involves whether an outfit is sustainable,
how much recycled material it uses,
how aesthetically it works, and the technical fabrication
skills of the piece.
So we give out a few different awards at the show--
first, second, and third, and audience choice, but also
other committees on the Undergraduate Association
Committee for Sustainability give out prizes based off
of what they do.
So there's a lot of different opportunities
to celebrate the different aspects of pieces
that designers create.
When people think of MIT, they usually don't think of fashion.
But in fact, a lot of students here
are very interested in fashion or just creating art.
And something really special about MIT
is that kids have a wide array of interests.
And maybe if fashion isn't one of them,
the Trashion Show encourages them to try something new.
And MIT kids always love trying something new
and pushing their boundaries.
And creating clothes out of trash is a challenge.
And it takes engineering, and design, and technology,
which are all things that students here
are very interested in.