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Photo by Marla Rutherford

Trash the Runway Matches Fashion and Sustainability

The virtual fashion show from Boulder's Common Threads asks kids and teens to take trash—but make it fashion.

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Like music concerts and theater productions, COVID-19 has put a damper on fashion shows. The current limitations on crowd size means catwalks—from international runways in New York, London, and Milan to those closer to home—have been closed. Which is why this year’s Trash The Runway (TTR), which usually takes place in the spring as a live fashion show, is going virtual to feature the work of young local designers.

Trash The Runway 2019 show at the Boulder Theater. Photo by Marla Rutherford

Since 2009, TTR has showcased the design work of local middle and high school students. The 90-minute competition emphasizes using entirely recycled and found materials—especially ones thrown away on a regular basis—giving students the chance to become both more environmentally aware and creative. Think: An evening gown made from an old trampoline mat, a pantsuit created from discarded exercise bands, and even an entire look painstakingly assembled from thousands of gum wrappers.

Dress by Zora Eckert from mattress bag and Werther’s candy wrappers at Trash The Runway in 2019. Photo by Marla Rutherford

TTR is the brainchild of the Creative Lab at Common Threads in Boulder. Most local fashionistas know Common Threads as a consignment shop that sells its own eclectic mix of recycled fashion, including Prada wedge sandals and boho blouses from Anthropologie. The Creative Lab—which offers a range of adult, teen, and tween-friendly sewing and knitting classes—oversees TTR as an independent workshop for students in grades 6 through 12 that also builds on store owner Libby Alexander’s philosophy of sustainable fashion.

Dress and collar by Olivia Beresford from coffee mylar bags and emergency blankets at Trash The Runway in 2019. Photo by Marla Rutherford

To catch TTR’s virtual show, tune in on the device of your choice this Tuesday, June 30, at 7 p.m. Although the event will be pre-recorded, audience members can vote live for their favorite look in two different categories WHAT CATEGORIES?, and donate through an active link. As with other years, all net profits from the show will be donated to Blue Sky Bridge, a local nonprofit that provides safe communities, healing, and justice to end child abuse. It’s an all-around uplifting way to spend an evening in support of fashion, the environment, and children.

11th Annual Trash the Runway show, June 30, at 7 p.m. on Boulder8TV or at TTR virtual. Common Threads, 2707 Spruce St., Boulder, 303-449-5431, shopcommonthreads.com

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