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

We walk our talk.


In 2015, where we saw crowds of close to 800 people, we generated a 1/4 can of trash. Two of Rubbish Renewed organizers got into the bin at the end of the night, on top of the ONLY trash of the night, to prove it!

We educate, we inspire, and we walk our talk.  From the beginning, hosting a large-scale event with little environmental impact has been a core part of our mission.  How do we host a fundraising event with crowds of close to 1,000 people in the course of an evening and not generate a ton of trash?  We consult the experts.  ReThink Waste and Bend Garbage and Recycling are two sponsors who help us get as close as we can to zero waste.  Bend Garbage and Recycling provide the bins and service, while ReThink Waste runs and trains the crowd at the event, helping them sort their waste accordingly.zero_waste_station

As you can see from the photo above, we’ve been successful!

Rubbish Renewed continues to divert a ton of trash from the landfill.  Last year, Rubbish Renewed achieved their 2015 goal and again only filled 1/4 can full of trash. This has been possible by supportive sponsors, socially conscious participants, and policies and structures (such as mandating compostable serving ware throughout the event) that ensure we continue to divert waste from the landfill, instead of contribute to it.

Now in 2017, where we will see crowds on Thursday night of well over 1,000 people, wait to see if we can fit all three organizers in the 35-gallon bin destined for the landfill.

View the full video from 2015 on our Facebook page.

Reignite Your Sustainable Passion – Community Garment Creation

“What one action can I take to lower my impact on the planet?”
  • We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.
  • Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted.

    RubbishRenewed_Runway_2015-6588 copy

    Designer: Bend Community     Materials: tin can lids, 1950’s stained curtains

Looking at trash facts is mind-boggling. Each year at this time I peruse the internet for waste data to share with the Bend community. The goal is to reignite sustainable practices in ALL of us. For me, complacency sets in as the year rolls on. When I reconsider a pledge each year I’m empowered to act, focusing my sustainability efforts.

The first year of Rubbish Renewed I pledged to recycle the toilet paper tube. And since then, I have diligently complied.   The next year, I upped my composting efforts through making a pledge. To this day, I still meet this goal.

There is something about the act of making a pledge and watching it publicly displayed walking down the runway that motivates; it helps hold me accountable. This year I’m using a thermos to capture the extra water I heat for tea. Now, in winter, as the day wears on, I rejuvenate my hot beverage with captured energy. I’ll make a pledge today at Rescue Collective (our hosts for the Rubbish Renewed Community Garment creation) to change a habit and lower my impact on the planet!

Designer: The Bend Community Materials: Bicycle Tubes,

Designer: The Bend Community
Materials: Bicycle Tubes, scrap plether

  • If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year
  • Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
  • In the United Kingdom, 65 percent of tea drinkers overfill their kettles and boil more water than is needed for a cup of tea. Turns out, that extra energy—the energy used to heat thrown out or leftover water each day—is enough to light all the streetlights in London for a night.

The Rubbish Renewed Community Garment offers a place to take a personal step towards walking more lightly on the planet. What will you do to generate less waste? Consume less? Ask yourself, “What one action can I take to lower my impact on the planet?”  Make a pledge. Start today.

You can help create the 2015/16 Community Garment at the Rubbish Renewed table at December’s First Friday (December 4th) at Rescue Collective, (910 NW Harriman St Suite 150).

“What one action can I take to lower my impact on the planet?”

First Friday, Community Garment Creation


The number of miles of new ribbon (more than enough to wrap around the planet – and tie a decorative bow, of course) that shoppers wouldn’t have to buy if every family in the country reused just two feet of trimmings from previous years.   To keep the ribbon of Christmases past from getting creased, wrap them around a paper towel tube and secure with masking tape.


2011 Community Garment
Materials: Surgical Drape & Soda can bottoms

The Rubbish Renewed Community Garment offers a place to take a personal step towards walking more lightly on the planet. What will you do to generate less waste? Consume less? Ask yourself, “What one action can I take to lower my impact on the planet?”  Make a pledge. Start today.

You can help create the 2014/15 Community Garment at the Rubbish Renewed table at December’s First Friday (December 5th) at Hot Box Betty, (903 NW Wall St). Write your pledge for action directly on the tin can lids.  Your pledge along with all the pledges collected in Bend will be featured prominently on the 2014 Community Garment at the January 15th Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show at The Bend Armory. Rubbish Renewed Community Garment 2014/5 By the Bend Community That’s YOU!

Designer:  The Bend Community Materials:  Bicycle Tubes,

2013/14 Community Garment
Materials: Bicycle Tubes, Minty Blaster holes (a manufacturing by-product)

At First Friday also witness the first Rubbish Renewed past trash fashion live wax museum. Learn how some artists are inspired to lessen their waste by reconsidering the value of trash and transforming rubbish into wearable art.

2012 Community Garment
Materials: Sun Umbrella, Tyvek snowflakes & packaging

Re-Think Waste – Debris Demolisher

Today I’m sitting in my off the grid 9 foot by 12 foot cabin. A kindling fire generating sauna-like temperatures on this drizzly morning creates a cozy atmosphere. When I’m here, my impact is low. It’s like camping – go to bed when it’s dark and rise with the light. There’s a lot of time for reflection when the world slows down. So I think, or re-think my impact on the world . . .

header-image-homelogoRubbish Renewed is all about re-thinking waste. In fact our tag line is Transforming trash, inspiring community for a sustainable earth. The purpose of trash fashion is to inspire individual and community thinking to shift and more importantly to motivate people to action.

Set an intention. What shift can you make from now on to lessen your impact on the earth?

P1040041-265x185The Rethink Waste Project helps Deschutes County residents and businesses make a difference through reducing, reusing, recycling and composting. Get all the info you need to rethink your waste at rethinkwastep At the Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show, use our refuse stations to minimize your impact on our planet.

The Coveted Trash Trophy

Panambi Opazo Elliot with the Trash Trophy

Which business will win the coveted trash trophy this year?

Last December at the Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show, we featured our first ever Business Challenge.  6 businesses showcased their creativity and dedication to sustainability parading their waste along the runway.  The competition between ReStore, Wabi Sabi, the Environmental Center, Cuppa Yo, UtilituSEW and the Horned Hand ended in a tight race.  In the end Panambi’s vivacious Cuppa Yo piece prevailed to win the first ever coveted trash trophy!

This year we will feature 8 businesses. ReStore and Wabi Sabi return to the competition, with the Workhouse, Spa-W, Barrio, Rescue, Sounds Fast, and Strictly Organic ready for the challenge.

Who will be the winner this year?  Come and cast your ballot, it’s the audience who decides.