Saturday, May 18, 2024

WRI’s Trashion Show turns trash into fashion for third consecutive year


LEAVENWORTH – Wenatchee River Institute’s (WRI) Trashion Show will be returning for a third year on Apr. 19. The event will be a fashion show of wearable pieces made of recycled and repurposed materials in celebration of Earth Day and is free to attend.

“The Trashion Show is always my favorite event each year… It's always so much fun because you see so many people from different age groups, families, different backgrounds, just people coming out to this big community event. And it always attracts more people than we ever think,” said Randee Zerger, WRI Development Associate.

The Trashion Show will feature wearable art pieces from design teams in four categories: adult, high school, youth, and family. The teams must create a garment out of materials that would otherwise be thrown away or recycled, such as cardboard, newspaper, aluminum, and more. Contestants are allowed to use vintage or used clothing, but it must be repurposed substantially.

“Establishing the theme and the message as part of it is definitely a collaborative and creative challenge for everybody,” said WRI Outreach Coordinator Mason Powers.

Powers and Zerger both agreed that once the theme and design is established, gathering the materials can be even more challenging. 

Last year, some of the highlights included a dress made out of a retired parachute, an outfit made out of garden supplies, and a skirt made of sled parts collected in town. 

“It's always just really surprising to see what people come up with. There's just so many different themes that people go with and just beautiful outfits,” said Zerger.

Robette Schmit of Winton Manufacturing, Marlene Farrell of Sustainable NCW, and Tami Haggerty of Waste Management will serve on this year’s panel of judges. The panel will judge based on four criteria: the use of recycled materials or trash, creativity and originality, quality of construction, and the description of the garment and its environmental message. 

The event is free, and no registration is required to attend as an audience member. It will take place on WRI’s River Haus lawn, or “Green Carpet,” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Apr. 19. Audience members are encouraged to bring snacks and a picnic blanket or camp chair. Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase during the event. Powers and Zerger plan to sport their own trashion outfits and encourage audience members to join in.

“We really want as many people as possible to feel welcome and encouraged to come watch the upcycled couture on the green carpet,” said Powers.

WRI is located at 347 Division St. in Leavenworth. More information can be found at

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or


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