And the Business Challenge Winner is . . .

Penny Lash, with Penny Trash!!!

Designer Panambi Elliott does it again with her signature style, meticulously manipulating business waste, and brought to life on the runway by Leah Nagel.

Left Photo by: random Friend; Right Photo by: Rebecca Penny

Thank You Bend!

I spend most of the evening behind the curtain. I get to feel the nerves of the young models before they take their first step, sending them onto the runway. And about a minute later, I get to experience their exhilaration when they step behind the curtain again. My favorite moment Saturday night was when 4th grade designer/model, Laila, supported each nervous model (students and adults alike) behind her, “it’s like a roller coaster. Before you go, you are so nervous, and once you are out there, it’s awesome!”

Because of my physical placement during the runway, I get to experience it most vividly through my interactions with people, the photos that will follow, and the stories that continue throughout the year. Last night Dirk, the Realms Middle School principal sent us an email, with a sentiment that I wanted to share, “. . . there is also the intangible human impact on the region that ripples out over the course of a year, the conversations around dinner tables, young people connecting with elders over a sewing machine, people dreaming and following those dreams until they create something new from something old. It’s human electricity, and it’s what makes the earth such a great place to live!”

Thank you Bend for embracing the mission of the Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show, “transforming trash, inspiring community for a sustainable earth,” and making our community such a great place to live!

Who will get your Business Challenge Vote?

For our 10th year and our 9th Business Challenge we have 8 local businesses competing for the 2020 Rubbish Renewed’s Coveted Trash Trophy! Each year a group of businesses come together to celebrate sustainability, support REALMS education, and have some friendly competition with the winner decided by the night’s audiences. Bring your friends and your voting block, to support your pick to win the The Rubbish Renewed Business Challenge on Saturday, January 25th!

Businesses participating this year are ReStore, Giant Loop, Hydro Flask, Organic Transfusion, Lonza, Ida’s Cupcakes, Salud Raw Foods, and Penny Lash. Check out our sneak peak below with a little about their vision.


RestoreThe Electric Houseman; Giant loopMoto-A-Go-Go!; HydroFlaskChroma Quest

The Bend Area Habitat for Humanities ReStore – Has been in every one of the our Business Challenges! This team, dedicated to sustainability in our community, each year produces ravishing, runway ready style. Thank you ReStore for your commitment to our town and our cause.

Giant Loop – For their 3nd Business Challenge is once again fashioning their textile magic by manipulating reclaimed scraps from their motorcycle saddlebag and tank bag production. Giant Loop is committed to reducing waste by reclaiming and reusing materials. Perfect fit for the Rubbish Renewed runway!

Hydro Flask – Is back for their 2nd Business Challenge since 2014! This year the whole team is part of the trash transformation! Meticulously connecting silicone chips from the color development process into a super hero suit, supporting success in sustainability through reducing our impact with reusable daily containers, believing nothing in life should be lukewarm.

Organic Transfusion – Organic Transfusion; lonzaLab Coat Makeover

Organic Transfusion – The dream team of Tiina McDermott and Zoey Lane are back with a 2nd Business Challenge collaboration! Organic Transfusion is a design team that is passionate about reducing the amount of waste in our landfills. Their whole mission is Rubbish Renewed!

Lonza – Back for their 2nd year for the Business Challenge, once again they have created 3 refashioned designs. These scientists are ready to hit the town for a marvelous night out. Created from lab coats that were destined for the trash due to stains and holes, with details and accessories created from lab and office trash.


Salud Raw Food – Rainbow produce flapper girl dress; Penny Lash – Penny Trash

Ida’s Cupcakes – For their first foray into the Business Challenge, Ida’s Cupcakes incorporated packaging from orders, as well as broken, outdated cupcake toppers that could not be reused. Ida’s strives to eliminate as much waste as possible by using reusable materials on a day-to-day basis; however, sometimes these products wear out. What better way to revive rubbish than to compete for the Coveted Trash Trophy!

Salud Raw Food – Is new to Rubbish Renewed but not new to a commitment to the planet. They use biodegradable To go ware and paper straws, compost all food scraps, and everything is organic! They vote with their dollars for sustainable farming practices. Salud is all in!

Penny Lash – Is a high volume lash studio but they have very low waste. They jumped into their first Business Challenge with a piece masterfully created by previous Coveted Trash Trophy winner Panambi Elliott. This loved trash is a visual documentation of the Evolution of a brand and it’s boom!

Photographers – Capturing the Spirit of the Event

SHE Photography’s Suzette Hibble, and Jazmine Turner Photography’s Mindy J. Turner are back for the 2020 Show! We are thrilled to have them capture once again, the spirit of the event, with their crisp exposures and stunning compositions that showcase the designs in action.

Blog posts and galleries highlighting the 2019 show feature images by these two talented photographers. Peruse the galleries and build your excitement for Saturday’s 10th Rubbish Renewed event! Get your tickets today!

Photo on the left by Jazmine Turner Photography; On the right by She photography

Just 4 days Away!

Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show is just 4 days away, and for the 1st time it’s a Saturday night! One of the most engaging events in town, this fundraiser features two eclectic, wearable art (trash fashion) runway shows (one that features local students), our Business Challenge (competing for the Coveted Trash Trophy), a live auction of a select group of runway garments, a silent auction comprised of local sustainable donations, a pop up “marketplace”, featuring sustainable, creative products from local artists, local food and drink.

The animated atmosphere, features environmental responsibility, funky fashion and celebrates the best of our Bend community. Buy your tickets today!

Designers photo 1: Devon Stevens, Avaline Theford, Ruby Fletcher School: Amity Creek; Designers Photo 2: Erin Donnell

10 local schools will be represented on the runway this year!

One of the most inspiring aspects of the Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show is the student designers. For the 2020 show on Saturday, January 25th we will have 10 local schools represented on the runway. If you come to the first show (6pm show/doors 5pm) you will see students from Realms Middle School, Realms High School, Cascades Academy, Skyview Middle School, Amity Creek Elementary, Bend High School, Central Oregon Community College, OSU-Cascades, Summit High School, and High Lakes Elementary School.

Kiki Kogan, designer and model, from the 9th annual Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show –
“The inspiration for this outfit was my struggle with Scoliosis. I made my old back brace the center of the piece in order to embrace my insecurities around it. In using an old tent I explored the way people interact with nature. We pollute our earth but still expect to reap the benefits of it in the form of recreation etc. I want to bring attention to this double standard in my outfit.” ~Kiki Kogan

Years 4-5: The History of Rubbish Renewed

In 2013, the Century Center broke up the space we had been using, and Rubbish Renewed set out to find another home. Bend is lacking in large open event venues, and after countless failures, finally we procured the Armory Gym down near the Old Mill. The location was ideal, close for walking, and dedicated parking. The Gym atmosphere, however, was hard to transform, and the military systems challenging to negotiate. We moved the venue and rescheduled the event to January 2014.

Photos by Tambi Lane photography

Year 4: Of 46 Central Oregon designers submitting garments, 23 of them were students from 9 local schools (3 elementary, 3 middle, and 3 high schools). Rubbish Renewed had taken its spot as a place where young, inspired designers had a chance to try their hand at a public runway event! Not only had Rubbish Renewed become an outlet for students around the district, locals were taking ownership of the event too! Beyond designers we had 21 sponsors, 9 Business Challenge participants, 11 local vendors, 60+ volunteers!

Photos by Tambi Lane photography

Year 5: The 5th annual Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion show was the best ever! More fun, more energy and more style. With professional sponsors like Sonic Solution generating our runway and lights, Flip Flop Sounds creating the shows background buzz, with the nimble hands of the stylists from Bishops Barbershop and Velvet finessing our bar, our humble beginnings had blossomed into a full blown anticipated event. We saw just under 1000 people in our 2 shows (students, adults & business) and they rose to the challenge, keeping a passion for the planet front and center! Our trash for the night is highlighted in the photo below! (Everything else was reused, recycled, or composted).

Designer Profile: Jessica Browning

Jessica Browning created her first garment for Rubbish Renewed as a 7th grader in 2014. Since that time, her complexity of design has soared. When I think of Jessica as a designer, its her masterfully marrying sustainable stories with intricate material manipulation. Learn more about Jessica  and her vision in this designer profile.

Designer/Model: Jessica Browning in the 2019 Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show Photo: SHE Photography

RR: What do you do in real life when you are not designing?

JB: I am a manager at Joanne Fabrics as well as a full-time college student pursuing a transfer of Arts degree. I hope to become an illustrator. When I’m not working or at school, I spend my free time drawing and sewing. I run a business through Etsy where I make and sell dice bags (for players of dungeons and dragons). I also enjoy playing Magic the Gathering with my friends and playing video games when I have the time.

RR: How did you become a trash fashion designer?

JB: Going to REALMS for middle school taught me a lot about climate change and sustainability. It became something I was really interested in. When I heard there was a chance for kids to make creations and show them on a runway, my mind was blown. Not only did I have a chance to create something amazing, but it also showcased something I care about. The first two outfits I made were… interesting to say the least. They weren’t technically my creations. It was a collaboration between my brain and my mom. Finally, she gave me the sewing machine and said your turn. From then on, I have made and modeled my garments and it’s always the highlight of my year.

RR: What inspires your creations? 

JB: When creating a garment, I don’t really go for just anything. It takes a while to brainstorm materials. I have always tended to drift towards plastic things: Plastic bags, newspaper bags, chip bags, sandwich bags etc. Single use plastics. I gravitate towards these because out of everything someone can do to help and be more sustainable is to cut these single use plastics. There are so many better fabric alternatives. Oregon has taken a great step in fixing this with its ban on plastic bags. So, it’s usually the story behind a material that inspires my creation. A great example is my dress titled Plastic Ocean. I had gone to the beach, one of my family’s favorite spots, and was disappointed by the amount of garbage I found. I took a garbage bag and picked up pieces as we walked along. Then I made them into a dress!

RR: Describe your design process?

JB: Once I have my material it gets to my favorite part, designing! I sketch up several designs taking in the give of the material and how it will lay. Thinking of different ways to manipulate it. Once I decide on a design I start to create!

RR: What is something you want to share with aspiring trash fashion designers? 

JB: You are never too young! You might need a lot of help and guidance, but if you are determined then your only limit is your imagination. So, shoot for the stars! Find something you are passionate about and create!

Years 1-3: The History of Rubbish Renewed

Once Rubbish Renewed sneaked onto the Bend scene in 2010, our first 3 years premiered at the Century Center. They provided the perfect venue – huge open space, a modular stage and few rules. We had our own bar provided by Plum & Boneyard, a cozy marketplace as you walked in, and moody lighting.

Year 1: there was 1 runway show with a total of 23 garments (compared to 57 split into 2 shows for 2020), and one designer made 5 of them! Diverse materials, from the launch of fused plastic as fashion, to beanie babies turned into a faux fur coat, graced the runway.

Year 2: our first Business Challenge garments battled it out on the runway from ReStore, Wabi Sabi, Cuppa Yo, The Horned Hand, Utilitu Sew and the Environmental Center. Cuppa Yo won the 1st coveted trash trophy designed by, now 4 time winning designer, Panambi Elliott! Skillfully manipulated materials from bicycle tubes and slides, to a kiddy pool and Capri Sun containers raised the runway bar. And we added a 2nd show!

Year 3: On the runway were 19 student designers up from 9 the year before! 2 of the Business Challenge entries were made by 2 of our talented students. And bags dominated the material cache: plastic and canvas grocery bags, dog food, ramen, paella, and coffee bags.

Check out last year’s posts on the Birth of Rubbish Renewed: Part 1 & Part 2, to get the background on our start.

Look for Years 4-5: The History of Rubbish Renewed coming soon.

Celebrating 10 Years

It’s hard to believe that Rubbish Renewed is celebrating 10 years. Enjoy the video that highlights 6+ garments from each year. It’s amazing to see the evolution, the different venues, and where we have evolved to today.

Rubbish Renewed plans to celebrate this milestone with some unique retrospective fun planned for the evening. Look for upcoming info on our after party. If you are 21 and over, and were at either show, we have the Midtown until midnight!

Buy your tickets today! 10th annual Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show at The Midtown Ballroom on Saturday, January 25th, 2020.