Let’s talk trash

Garb from garbage: Models showcasing at the Trashion Show   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Three Waste Warriors armed with Brain Recalibration Guns stomp onto the stage. They’ve got the charm of Charlie’s Angels but with a futuristic touch, and are here to change the way people think. Flashing their weapons at chips-eating, plastic packet- wielding earthlings, the warriors attempt to make them stop buying plastic and polluting the world and instead, reduce, reuse, recycle and repair. This was the theme of the annual Trashion Show held in Auroville over the weekend.

Nestled in the thickets, the Kalabhumi performing space is brimming with an excited audience — a combination of screeching kids and laid-back adults. The show as the name suggests involved (mostly) avant garde clothing and accessories made using trash.

The Waste Warriors for instance, sport shiny metallic corsets with skirts. These are created by 41-year-old designer Jyotis Feraud, using inverted silver-lined paper tea sacks. “It’s got geometric designs and origami work,” says Jyotis, who completed the three outfits and the guns made of plastic bottles in about four days. The detailing on the outfits includes neatly pleated origami cranes and koi fish, leaves and 3D triangles.

Launched in 2010, the Trashion Show started with the idea of raising awareness about the importance of waste reduction.

“Humans, through thoughtless consumerist behaviour, have created a waste crisis, mostly of one-time use plastic bags, straws, plastic bottles and other use and throw items,” says Jesse Fox-Allen, who proposed the idea of this show during a brainstorming session with Litter-Free Auroville (LFA) around a decade ago. He is joined by Mukta Den Hollander who is the production manager for the show.

The event this year had 50 models — between the ages of four and 70 — sporting garments made of multi-layer chips packaging, pet food bags, mesh sacks, broken umbrellas, insulation foam, 8mm film, mosquito nets and e-waste among others. The tailoring is sharp, the fall, perfect. Be it Gabi Bitzer’s ensemble comprising a bodice (fashioned out of a magazine) paired with a ruched Moulin Rouge-style skirt (reportedly made of horsefood-sack) and a mesh plastic lid fascinator or Aarthi Jayavel’s creations made out of thin plastic bags, dog food packets and plastic sheets and sacks, the ideas were all fascinating.

Twenty one-year-old Aarthi, a student of Auroville Fashion Studio, designed her first outfit for the show last year. This year she created three. Her youngest model was a four-year-old dressed in a bright blue and virulent pink one-shoulder dress made of plastic bags stitched with ruffles with an aluminium foil border and plastic flowers for detailing. The other adult model wore a crop top and pleated asymmetrical skirt made of bright yellow and blue dog food packaging. Her piece de resistance was a Cinderella-inspired dress replete with long shimmery tassels and multi-coloured scraps of fabric.

“I’ve used rice packaging, umbrella covers, plastic sheets, waste cloth, and synthetic cotton from discarded pillows for this outfit,” she says, adding, “It took me one month to complete these.” The challenge was when the models tried out the outfits and some didn’t fit into them effortlessly. “Sometimes the clothes rip a little and we have to rework them,” she adds.

After the show, some of the items displayed were retained by the designers while the rest were dismantled, separated into their recycling components and returned to Auroville’s community solid-waste facility, the Eco-Service, to be reused next year, says Jesse.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 6:59:28 AM |

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