Plastic shopping bags, newspapers and even melted vinyl were just some of the discarded items turned into outfits Saturday afternoon at the second “TRASHion Fashion Runway Show.”
The fashion show was part of the 20th annual Denton Redbud Festival — the city’s official Arbor Day event, a home and garden show and a community festival sponsored by Keep Denton Beautiful Inc.
The show, presented on a runway at Quakertown Park, took months of preparation and a cooperative effort by the Denton Public Library and the city’s Solid Waste and Recycling Department.
Lauren Barker, Keep Denton Beautiful’s program manager, said she is happy to have the fashion show because it helps add growth and interest to the Redbud Festival.
“I think it’s great and we have an amazing turnout,” Barker said. “I will definitely be willing to partner up and host the show as long as they [the library and solid waste department] would like to participate.”
Juli Gonzalez, a librarian at North Branch Library, said the event started out as a teen Earth Day celebration for the library.
“Last year was such a hit we decided to expand and allow all ages to enter their designs,” Gonzalez said.
About 20 people participated, including students from the University of North Texas, Gonzalez said.
“Our goal is to eventually work with the art students at both TWU and UNT,” she said.
One participant, secondary winner Jenson Owens, enjoyed the event so much last year that she had to come back — even after moving to Amarillo.
Gonzalez said a dress that Owens made last year out of plastic shopping bags was used as a “how-to” model this year.
“This show really adds to the event; it’s all about using and reusing,” Gonzalez said.
Alana Presley, education coordinator for the Solid Waste and Recycling Department, said the fashion show focused more on education this year.
“With their designs, each had to file a researched fact in relation to what materials they were using,” Presley said. “We are really excited about all the amazing partnerships this part of the event has created, and without all the collaborated efforts, we wouldn’t have been able to put the show on.”
Next year, Presley and Gonzalez hope to focus on creating a “sustainable” category.
The fashions will be on display during the month of May at SCRAP Denton, at 215 W. Oak St., also one of this year’s sponsors.
The Redbud Festival also featured vendors offering plants, gardening products, landscaping and home improvement items, and information about composting and other topics.
Barker said the main point of the festival is to focus on what people can do to create a more beautiful city. Keep Denton Beautiful, a nonprofit organization, branches out to three areas and one of those is beautification.
Community improvement can be as simple as sprucing up a flower bed at a home or business, Barker said.
“This whole event is just a testament to where Denton is and is going. ... I’m happy to be right in the middle of it,” she said.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.