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Coaxing beauty out of trash

Thanks to the creativity of Aurovillians, discarded material reincarnate as fancy designer apparel

April 12, 2017 09:55 pm | Updated 09:55 pm IST - Puducherry

PUDUCHERRY, 05/04/2017: From the Trashion Show '17 in Auroville. Photo: Special Arrangement

PUDUCHERRY, 05/04/2017: From the Trashion Show '17 in Auroville. Photo: Special Arrangement

Featherweight divas and dudes in fancy designer apparel walked the ramp in step with contemporary music at an event that simulated a fashion show; except that it was actually a ‘Trashion Show’.

‘Trashion Show 2017’ was recently hosted as part of the Festival of Trash Art at the Kala Kendra, Bharat Nivas.

The concept of the show, which began with a lively cappella, was to highlight how elements of beauty could be coaxed out of any bit of trash, from plastic bottles and magazine to jute, car air-tubes and tetra pak boxes.

In what was nothing short of a magical transformation, a range of these discarded material, which also included coffee jute bags, paper plastic bags folded with origami technique, foam, tarpaulin and cardboard, were reincarnated as skirts (short and long), tops, dresses, hats, raincoat, jackets, shirts, marriage dress, cocktail dress and even remakes of the legendary Paco Rabannne link dress.

One of the eye-catching reincarnates was a pink raincoat made with plastic banners (discarded by political parties).

Creators cat walk

And, it took over three months to prepare 38 models for the show of 45 minute duration. The cat walk featured the creators themselves from all ages — children and adults, almost all of whom were Aurovillians themselves.

The hosts included fashion designer Lee Ok Jeong (known as OK) from Upcycling Studio, Arlet Rochini (ex-founder of To be two fashion studio) and Mukta Den Hollander (founder of Seasongs bags).

Jesse Fox-Allen, actor and audiophile took charge of serving up mixed contemporary music.

A dozen models were exhibited for the benefit of visitors at the Kala Kendra.

According to Aurovillians, the larger purpose of the pageant was to illustrate how to create beauty with trash based on the concept of ephemeral art. The show marked the finale of a three-week Litter Free campaign.

According to Uma Prajapati, founder of Upasana in Auroville, the three main goals of the waste campaign project were to bring about a paradigm shift in Aurovillians’ relationship with waste through fun participation in waste-related activities, inspire community and prepare participation and action for a larger campaign on Auroville’s golden jubilee next year, and to emphasise the importance and need for a resource centre to manage the waste for the Auroville bioregion.

Other targeted outcomes of the campaign was to reduce the quantity of waste produced (especially plastics), inculcate a zero waste lifestyle and reinforce the community support for the units involved in waste management, waste reduction and education.

The campaign featured an art show where artists demonstrated objects, creations made only from waste, educational workshops with schools, screening of films, puppet shows and performances.

It also involved an awareness exhibition with five parts — on Auroville, problems and solutions about waste on our planet Earth, the Swachh Bharat campaign launched pavilions showcasing Auroville units — Eco-Service, Upcycling and WasteLess.

“Apart from presenting problems about pollution by waste, especially plastics and toxicity in water bodies, the focus was also on solutions such as zero waste movements and the three ‘R’s of recycle, reuse and repair.

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