by Walter Thulin
Oftentimes, fashion intersects with political activism. Styles are co-opted by different political movements, in the process becoming synonymous with different groups. Recently, one of the most notable fashion trends has been the rise of trashion.
Trashion, a portmanteau of fashion and trash, uses materials commonly found in a dumpster to make high fashion items. The first trashion show took place in the Philippines. Ann Wizer, an American artist, threw a fashion show with clothing made from plastic bags to celebrate Earth Day.
Inspired by Wizer, the trashion movement took off in New York in the early 2000s. Designers competed in face-to-face competitions for the role of Trashion Queen. Trashion shows have gotten more and more mainstream, and shows have moved from underground venues to the runway.
While trashion is an extreme adaption of the recyclability movement, it has inspired designers to be more conscientious with fabric consumption. As such, many small designers produce items made exclusively of fabric scraps. Trashion is one of the largest up-and-coming trends, prioritizing environmental sustainability and design with scarce resources.