Courtney Giardina, ’20, walks the Trashion Show runway in a garbage bag dress with paper trim on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, in STEPS. The Trashion Show is meant get participants to see trash in a new way, as something that could possibly be re-used. (Tulani Bey/B&W Staff)

Students get creative at Eco Reps’ Trashion Show


Designers featured in a fashion show on Lehigh’s campus had to follow two rules: each was responsible for finding his or her own materials, and all of the resources had to come from the trash.

The Eco Reps featured the designs at their fifth annual Trashion Show on Feb. 23 in the STEPS concourse. The goal of the event was to promote creativity and remind students to recycle. Students acted as models and designers. To become a designer or model, students completed a Google Form prior to the event.

Eco Rep Jay Nolte, ’18, said the event has always been a success, and people generally enjoy participating.

Ellie Ginis, ’19, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, was a designer for the event. Ginis participated because she wanted to support the Eco Reps.

“Designing is definitely not my thing, so I mostly did it because I think it is a smart event that makes people more mindful about wasting materials and ethical fashion in general,” Ginis said.

Ginis designed her outfit with Sabrina Fineberg, ’19.

“It was harder than we expected to design a decent looking outfit that didn’t look like literal trash, and it actually took a couple of days spread out to finish it,” she said.

To create their design Ginis and Fineberg weaved cardboard pieces together to produce a handbag, cut up old cereal boxes and paper bags to make a top and pressed dried flowers into clear plastic to construct a skirt. Ellie Naka, ’19, modeled their design during the show.

Meghan Nolte, ’19, a member of Gamma Phi Beta, was a first-time designer. She collaborated with other members of her sorority to make her design.

“I wanted to participate because GPhi does the Trashion Show every year,” Nolte said. “While creating the design was a challenge, I enjoyed the experience and I was happy to represent my house at the event. Fashion design is not really my forte so I was happy to have other girls to help me with the creation.”

Samantha Smith, ’18, the Eco Rep’s campus events coordinator, said she was thrilled with the number of students who participated in the event. Smith was in charge of the planning and logistics for the Trashion Show, which involved organizing the designers and models, reserving the venue and ordering the food.

Smith enjoyed watching the show, and said each model chose the song that played while he or she walked down the runway, which allowed the audience to get a sense of each model’s personality. She was surprised with the intricacy of some of the designs.

“I would never be able to create anything nearly as impressive as the designers did,” Smith said.

Smith said the Eco Reps are a peer-to-peer leadership program. Their main goal is to raise awareness about how students can help the environment. Eco Reps are expected to inform their residence halls and Greek houses about sustainable living. The Trashion Show is one of many events Eco Reps hosts to raise awareness and educate campus.

“It seems every week we have a new event. We compete in the Gameday Challenge, we do waste audits and we run fun and informative information sessions as 5×10’s and much more,” Jay Nolte said.

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