Teen Trashionistas Make Waste a Winner

Two post-apocalyptic catwalk parades of trashion couture made a huge impact on hundreds of students from around Sydney, and impressed the judging panel drawn from across the environment campaigning and fashion sectors, at the WASTE NOT - Mash It Up!  Launch at Sydney Olympic Park during the annual Youth Eco Summit on September 4th. 

“It’s critical that we reach teenagers before they leave school and get sucked into the cycles of consumption and waste which are destroying the planet,” said Mash It Up!’s Creative director, and TEC Communications Director, Ruth Hessey. “Both teachers and staff have been amazed by the changes that have occurred in attitude across their schools as a result.”

The standard was so high that one of the judges, international activist and trashionista Marina DeBris, suggested to the students - “you can all come and work for me!"

“The excitement generated in the room by a load of rubbish transformed into messages and costumes really showed how hearts and minds can be engaged by sustainability when it’s presented as fun to this age group,” said Mike Bartlett, Senior Manager, Education & Visitor Programs at Sydney Olympic Park.

Nepean CAPA High School took home the Most Resourceful and Best Trashion trophies for their joyful, intricately woven and decorated eco warriors. Best Messaging went to Engadine High School for the potent performance of a Dumpster Wedding For A Wasted World which blended film, costumes and music into a chilling warning against waste.

“It has been a whirlwind experience and we have all learnt so much along the way,” said Natalie deFrance the art teacher who led the Engadine team.

Judges included artist Marina Debris; TEC’s director Jeff Angel; model and marine scientist Laura Wells; Camille Reed, Director the Circular Fashion Conference; and Francis Pascua, marketing manager of the eco fashion label, G-Star Raw. The project’s creative mentors included Angela Van Boxtel, Imogen Ross and Pirra Griffiths. Prizes were generously donated by G-Star Raw, Harris Farm, the Replas soft plastic recycling company, Billy Blue Design and Allerton swimwear. The trophies made from micro-plastic pollution embedded in the TEC logo were created by Rianti Bieler, a passionate ocean activist.

“The two schools created impressive presentations which showed great commitment to reusing so-called waste and promoting recycling, demonstrating why we need to stop plastic pollution,” said TEC’s director Jeff Angel.” When it comes to protecting our planet, we can never give up!”

For more info please contact Ruth Hessey at [email protected] 0425253293
or visit

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