Ruby Swanson Designer Profile

Ruby found Rubbish Renewed in 2011 with “River Trash,” a crazy mash up of, you got it, river trash. But when I think of Ruby as a designer, it’s sleek style that she brings to our show. We can’t wait to see what she has in store this year! Learn more about Ruby and her vision in this designer profile.

RubbishRenewed_Runway_2015-6652 copy

2015 – Stay Toastie at the Game; Materials: Vintage wool blanket; Photo by Tambi Lane

RR: What do I do in real life?

RS: My profession is Dental Hygienist (adore my job). For play time I alpine ski in winter, hike, bike, whitewater kayaking/rafting and fly fish etc. and travel when I can. Basically, live the Central Oregon dream!

RR: What hooked you on the Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show Event?

RS: I love sewing and creating costumes. Halloween is my favorite “holiday”. I grew up with parents that both worked in Hollywood (Disney and Walter Lance studios) in the 50s. That was a big part of the fun times we had our whole life.

RR: What inspires your creations?

RS: I mostly like to work with fabric and reconstruction creating pieces that are truly


2016 – Mountain Splendor: Materials: Old wool blanket, yarn, leather, yard debris; Photo by Joy Mitsui

wearable. I worked in theater costumes and much of what we did was reconstruction due to a limited budget. Talk about the need to be creative! Necessity is the mother of invention.

RR: What is the one thing you want to say to all aspiring designers?

RS: With all the problems in our world with waste and consumerism it’s important to re-purpose and be creative. It’s also important to be your authentic self. What better way than to express yourself through fashion. Much of the worlds high fashion has been inspired by young people! Be the new “look”!

RR: What is your current goal as a fashion designer?

RS: Its always been about what fills my heart and soul. It’s about fun!

The Birth of Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show – Part 1

Designer: Mojave
Photo by: Tambi Lane Photography

It’s hats and sweaters and wintery things, coupled with an obsession for Project Runway, that inspired 2 teachers at REALMS Middle School to imagine Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show 9 years ago. The school had temporarily moved into D-Hall at Pilot Butte from the old (now demolished) portables. We had water and bathrooms for the first time, and were enjoying a warm central meeting place between classes where our office staff crammed between ovens and counters in the defunct home-ec room. Amy was wearing one of her Castaways skirts, beautifully crafted by Lloyd McMullen, and I must have been

Designer: Castaways
Photo by: Tambi Lane Photography

sporting some funky refashioned piece I’d created before teaching dominated my time. Although the exact words elude me now, Amy approached and exclaimed something like, “We need to start a trash fashion show to rise up the waste issue and these cool sweatery mashed up clothes people are making! Someone else is going to do it if we don’t.” It was that moment that launched us into the amazing world of trash fashion, and Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show was born.

Look for: Part 2The Covert Creation of Show #1, and 2018 Show Galleries posted soon!

9th Annual Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show Friday, January 25th 2019

2014 Adult Designer Gallery Posted!

Designer:  Kassy Windus Materials: Magazines & cardboard

Designer: Kassy Windus
Materials: Magazines & cardboard

Our runway submissions have come a long way since our first Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show in 2010. Last year our adult designers outdid themselves in their use of unique materials, fabrication techniques and their ability to reconsider the value of trash!  Sculpted pieces emerged constructed from: vinyl & cloth blinds; almond milk & chicken broth boxes; cider carbonating bladders; magazines & cardboard; and climbing webbing remnants. On the softer side materials included: old oil painting canvases; dryer sheets; crocheted plastic bags; refurbished scrap natural materials; woven & stuffed plastic grocery bags; fishing net, San Pelagrino foil & shelf felt; and bike inner tubes.

Check out the new Runway 2014 Adult Designer gallery posted today! Runway photos by Tambi Lane Photography.

Coming soon the 2014 Student Designer Gallery!

ReStore – Refuse Remover Sponsor


2012 Business Challenge
Materials: Leather from de-constructed chair, tire chains.creativity.

Transforming trash, inspiring community for a sustainable earth.  Some might say this tag line is a little grand for a fashion show motivated by trash creativity.  But in fact our goal is to educate, inspire,entertain and take action to help create a more sustainably minded community.

Our first year, when we started planning Rubbish Renewed, we searched for like-minded organizations to collaborate with.  We immediately encountered The Bend Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Like us their mission is to engage the community, not just thinking about their impact on the environment, but acting on it.


Shop. Donate. Volunteer.
ReStore: 740 NE First Street, Bend, Or

If you’ve never been, the ReStore is the ideal place to find treasures of used and surplus home improvement items.  Donate your no longer needed building materials, appliances and home furnishings or discover that special object you were looking for.  All proceeds benefit Bend Area Habitat for Humanity, providing home ownership, home repair & weatherization services for hard-working, low-income local families and individuals.


2011 Business Challenge
Materials: Blinds, Screening & Plastic Light Covers



With an eye on the environment and the support of an important community cause, ReStore is the go to place for all your home improvement needs.  Check out their offerings including a new “line” of up-cycled merchandise.

Part 1: Remember 2012 . . .

RREFS_2012-6775Remember year 3 . . .

  • When we had 19 inspiring garments designed and made by students?
    • 3 by elementary school students
    • 12 by middle school students
    • 4 by high school students
  • When 2 of the 8 business challenge garments were made by 2 of our talented student designers?
  • When the list of student materials included:
    • Lots of candy wrappers
    • Bubble wrap
    • Race bib numbers
    • Award ribbons
    • Window screen
    • Shower curtain
    • Newspaper
    • Tissue paper
    • & Bags & bags
      • Canvas grocery bags
      • Plastic grocery bags
      • Ramen bags
      • Dog food bags
      • Paella bags
      • Coffee bags
Check out the new Gallery, Runway 2012 Student Designers, featuring all the student garments from last year!

Remember When 2010 . . .

Remember year one  . . .

Designer:  Karen Holm Materials: Ties

  • When we first saw fused plastic bags become a runway worthy garment?
  • When school lunch boats rocked a skirt?
  • When cassette tape sparkled like beads?
  • When beanie babies became a faux fur coat?
  • When an old tipi canvas with sharpie pictographs caused a phone bidding war and sold for $2450 at our auction?
  • When the 1st community garment, sharing the sustainability wishes of Bend residents, was born?
  • When Rubbish Renewed hit the Bend, must attend event scene?

Check out the newly posted Gallery, Runway 2010, featuring the garments from our first year!

Submission Forms Now Available!

Submissionrr_logo_only13.jpg Forms are now available!  Remember to read the paperwork carefully for criteria, dates, and deadlines.

2013:14 RR Runway Submission Paperwork

2013:14 Student RR Runway Submission Paperwork

2013:14 RR Business Challenge Runway Submission Paperwork

With the announcement of our new date, the response from artists is overwhelmingly positive.  A little extra time and not backed up with the holiday frenzy seems, from a designers point of view, delightful. The extra 6 weeks not only gives more time for artists, and time to solidify and prep the space, it also gives us added time to get the word out!

Have you ever imagined . . .?

Necklaces, zipper pulls, and earrings are the creations made by “Just A Little Charm” out of copper salvaged from the old Bend Bulletin’s roof.

Bend, Oregon is an incredibly cool place to live.  Although the community has grown substantially since I moved here in 2000, it still has a small town feel.  Walking downtown, I always bump into someone I know eager to engage in a meaningful discussion.  People here not only hold “important” conversations, like how to make a difference in their community, they take action.  One approach comes from the willingness, no, eagerness to think about waste, and to do something about it in an ingenious way.  I’ve never met so many creative, capable, motivated and sustainably minded people in a small area (accept maybe Lopez Island – but that’s another story).

So have you ever thought about tiny speakers built into reused ALTOIDS tins?  Sculpted bowls formed from old records?  What about bold jewelry and accessories created from vintage Formica or salvaged roof copper?  These are just a smattering of the imaginative and well-crafted offerings available this year in the Marketplace at the Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show on December 6th.  Check out these pieces for a taste of what’s to come.

N. Spekktor specializes in handmade treasures created from household items, journals, and old vinyl records.

Connect the Minty Blaster to the headphone jack on your portable music player and its built-in amplifier will provide a roomful of curiously strong, curiously hip mono sound.

Marketplace spaces are going quickly, so if you are interested, checkout the vendor submission info and grab a space before they’re gone.

Playing Card Skirt detail


Playing Card Skirt detail

Casey, a 6th grader at REALMS, careful connected playing cards for her rubbish renewed piece.

Thursday, November 10th the deadline for the 2nd annual Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show arrived with 50 submissions for the runway!  Now the challenging jurying process begins. Twice the entries and more diverse and eclectic than last year, designs range in categories from global impact to altered extremes.  Materials like cat food bags, candy wrappers, old playing cards, negatives and slides, and even a kiddy pool are envisioned into carefully crafted environmentally savvy high fashion.  Stay tuned for coming preview pictures.  Only 4 weeks to go!