When it comes to the Trashion Show, it’s better to ask “what you can make with the trash, rather than what the trash can make for you,” says Danielle Meng ’20 of Beijing.

That approach paid off for Meng. The outfit she designed for model Claire Deplanck ’20 of Kuala Lumpur won first prize in the annual show, in which students make runway-ready outfits out of campus trash.

The Trashion Show, organized by student EcoReps and held in the Gray Athletic Building on Nov. 20 during the pre-Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner, highlights the amount and variety of waste the campus produces.

Not that you can necessarily tell that the outfits are trash-couture. Before and after the show, models and designers happily posed for portraits by Bates photographer Theophil Syslo and shared the creativity and philosophy behind their creations.

That’s a Wrap
Claire Deplanck ’20 of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Claire Deplanck ’20 of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Designer: Danielle Meng ’20 of Beijing

Model: Claire Deplanck ’20 of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Signature Trash: Bubble wrap, trash bags, and sourdough packaging from Commons

Assembly Time: About five hours

Creative Use of Trash: Tiara made from packing peanuts

The Designer Says: “I personally do a lot of online shopping and buy a lot of stuff, and I feel bad about the packaging and the cardboard and the tape and everything I waste. I feel like that definitely could be improved.”

P.S. “Use Amazon’s Delivery Day option!”

Danielle Meng ’20 (left) and Claire Deplanck ’20.

Designer Danielle Meng ’20 (left) of Beijing and Claire Deplanck ’20.


Extra, Extra!

Elise Lambert ’22 of Amherst, N.H.

Designer: Women’s track and field team

Model: Elise Lambert ’22 of Amherst, N.H.

Signature Trash: Back issues of The Bates Student, and tape

Assembly Time: About 10 minutes, on the day of the show

The Designer Says: ”Anything can be repurposed,” says co-designer Olivia LaMarche ’20 of Lynnfield, Mass. “Sometimes it’s worth saving things.”

Elise Lambert ’22, wearing an outfit made from copies of The Bates Student newspaper, gets "read" by teammates on the women's track and field team, who designed the dress.

Elise Lambert ’22 gets “read” by teammates on the women’s track and field team, who designed the outfit.


Suited to a Tea

Sukanya Shukla ’20 of Dehradun, India.

Designer: Anne Trapp ’20 of Brunswick, Maine

Model: Sukanya Shukla ’20 of Dehradun, India

Signature Trash: Scrap muslin, lids of San Pellegrino drinks, chip bags, and candy wrappers

Assembly Time: 15 hours

Creative Use of Trash: Skirt made of teabag envelopes, partly from Commons and partly from the Olin Arts Center costume shop’s 2:30 p.m. tea-times.

Anne Trapp ’20 of Brunswick, MaineModel: Sukanya Shukla ’20 of Dehradun, India

Sukanya Shukla ’20 (left) and designer Anne Trapp ’20 of Brunswick, Maine.


Proceed with Caution
Max Freund ’22 of Newfields, N.H.

Max Freund ’22 of Newfields, N.H.

Designer: Hannah Webster ’22 of Shelburne, Vt.

Model: Max Freund ’22 of Newfields, N.H.

Signature Trash: Empty boxes of Mike’s Twisted Tea, caution tape, and a discarded necklace

Creative Use of Trash: Yellow caution tape collected after Back to Bates Weekend  

The Designer Says: “Sort your recyclables and your trash!”

Hannah Webster ’22 of Shelburne, Vt.Model: Max Freund ’22 of Newfields, N.H.

Max Freund ’22 (left) and designer Hannah Webster ’22 of Shelburne, Vt.


Layers & Layers

Ilze Smidt ’21 of Gibsonia, Pa.

Designer: Jade Zhang ’21 of Hefei, China

Model: Ilze Smidt ’21 of Gibsonia, Pa.

Signature Trash: Leftover fabric, yarn, and ribbons

Assembly Time: About four hours

Creative Use of Trash: Layers of tissue paper in the skirt, collected from packaging over the course of a month

The Designer Says: “Tissue paper is super wasteful. If you buy two items, they give you so many of those tissue papers. It’s not necessary.”

Jade Zhang ’21 of Hefei, ChinaModel: Ilze Smidt ’21 of Gibsonia, Pa.

Designer Jade Zhang ’21 (left) of Hefei, China, and lze Smidt ’21.


Flower Power

Sandia Taban ’22 of Changsu, China.

Designers: Yueh Qi Chuah ’22 of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and Ahimy Soto-Garcia ’21 of Trenton, N.J.

Model: Sandia Taban ’22 of Changsu, China

Signature Trash: Felts, beads, and chip bags

Assembly Time: About 10 hours

Creative Use of Trash: Flowers made of plastic bags from Wal-Mart

The Designer Says: “Bring reusable bags for shopping,” says Chuah. ”A lot of plastic bags are being shipped to other countries — cough cough, Malaysia, cough cough.”

Yueh Qi Chuah ’22 of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and Ahimy Soto-Garcia ’21 of Trenton, N.J.Model: Sandia Taban ’22 of Changsu, China

Designers Yueh Qi Chuah ’22 of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and Ahimy Soto-Garcia ’21 of Trenton, N.J., flank Sandia Taban ’22 of Changsu, China.


Trash & Tiaras

Eden Rickolt ’20 of Landenberg, Pa.

Designers: Madison Liistro ’20 of Farmington, Conn., and Maya Wilson ’20 of Toronto

Model: Eden Rickolt ’20 of Landenberg, Pa.

Signature Trash: Various treasures from the Smith Hall trash cans

Assembly Time: A few hours

Creative Use of Trash: A wig that was thrown out after Halloween

The Designer Says: ”Anybody can be Miss Universe if they try hard enough — or Miss Gray Cage.”

Madison Liistro ’20 of Farmington, Conn., and Maya Wilson ’20 of TorontoModel: Eden Rickolt ’20 of Landenberg, Pa.

Designers Madison Liistro ’20 of Farmington, Conn., and Maya Wilson ’20 of Toronto, flank model Eden Rickolt ’20.


Very In-Tents
Talia Sperduto ’21 of Canterbury, N.H., models her own design.

Talia Sperduto ’21 of Canterbury, N.H., models her own design.

Model and Designer: Talia Sperduto ’21 of Canterbury, N.H.

Signature Trash: Discarded Outing Club tents

Assembly Time: 100-plus hours

The Designer Says: “We talk about trash as the plastic bottles that we use and the plastic that we get in Commons, but we forget about textile waste.”


Regal Attire

Essie Martin ’21 of Newcastle, Maine.

Designer: The EcoReps, the Bates student organization that promotes environmentally responsible behavior on campus.

Model: Essie Martin ’21 of Newcastle, Maine

Signature Trash: Various packaging ”donated” by Commons

Assembly Time: 20 minutes

Creative Use of Trash: Bubble-wrap cape

The Designer Says: ”The amount of trash that Commons goes through in order to feed all of us is tremendous, and the amount of waste that we produce on top of that is a lot,” says co-designer Elly Beckerman ’22 of Washington, D.C.

 EOC Reps are: Liv Guion ’21, Sophie Landes ’21, Essie Martin ’21, Elly Beckerman ’22, and Jasper Beardslee ’22.

EcoReps Liv Guion ’21 of Arlington, Mass.; Sophie Landes ’21 of New York City; Essie Martin ’21 of Newcastle, Maine; Elly Beckerman ’22 of D.C.; and Jasper Beardslee ’22 of Miami pose during the 2019 Trashion Show on Nov. 20. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

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