Contestants of the Trashion Show stand in front of the judges and await their verdict on the winner on Friday, March 25. The Trashion Show was hosted by the Eco-Rep Program and Artists for Change and challenged contestants to make outfits out of recycled materials. (Luqmaan Shaikh/B&W Staff)

Eco-Reps host Trashion Show to promote sustainability


The Office of Sustainability and the Lehigh Eco-Rep Leadership Program hosted the eighth annual Trashion Show on March 25,  where participants worked in teams to create outfits from recycled material.

The Trashion Show, held in the STEPS lobby, presented clothing made from reusable garbage, which would otherwise be placed in landfills. The outfits were displayed and judged by members of the Lehigh Eco-Reps.

Grace Vigorito, ’22, poses for the audience on Friday, March 25, at the STEPS Building. Vigorito’s outfit was made as a statement against women being boxed in to specific types of fashion. (Luqmaan Shaikh/B&W Staff)

Lehigh Eco-Reps is a program that allows students to become leaders trained in promoting sustainable living in residential halls and Greek houses. 

Ajah Quawiy, ‘23, coordinator of the event, said all 50 Eco-Reps helped to plan and execute the event.  

Quawiy said the show was part of a larger competition between universities nationwide, called Campus Race to Zero Waste, a program encouraging schools to transform waste into sustainable products. 

“A lot of the clothing that we wear in general is made out of synthetic polymers and fabric that are bad for the environment,” said Danielle Picarello, ‘22, an Eco-Rep for Farrington Square apartments.

Picarello said flyers were sent out on various social media pages to recruit participants and audience members to attend. Participants worked together to create the outfits that were then modeled by five students. 

Materials used in the outfits included plastic bags, garbage bags, cardboard and empty cans of soda. These materials were used to make dresses, tops, skirts, shoes, pants and handbags. 

Ben Ciancio, ’25, shows off his outfit on Friday, March 25, 2022, at the STEPS Building. The Trashion Show was hosted by the Eco-Reps Program and Artists for Change to promote sustainable fashion. (Luqmaan Shaikh/B&W Staff)

Grace Vigorito, ‘22, modeled a look inspired by a women’s bathroom sign. The outfit was made of cardboard and revealed a suit made out of garbage when the cardboard was ripped off. Vigorito, who works at the Center for Gender Equity, said she teamed up with three of her co-workers to design the piece to represent intersectional feminism. 

“Women are always boxed off by men and we live in a very male dominated society,” Vigorito said. “It was very rewarding and was very fun to see what everyone did with the prompt.”

Prizes were given to participants for the best outfits of the night, and each group was given a small gift for competing. Awards such as “most unexpected,” “garbage chic,” and “fan favorite” were also handed out. 

Quawiy said she was just excited that an audience was present, after the show was put on hold for two years due to COVID-19.  

“Some of the challenges were getting people to come just because all of the campus events have been a little bit underwhelming in terms of audience and outreach,” Quawiy said. “I was a little afraid that people were not going to come, but I am glad as many people came as they did.”

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