Let’s talk about trash: Fashion as a call to action

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by Micaela Yawney

Project Trashion will present its first event: THE UNION. This is an eco-fashion exhibition and trade show designed to to display issues related to sustainability within the fashion industry. It’ll take place on Sept. 30 at the Old Boehmer Box Factory in Kitchener, Waterloo.

This event is about activism and art. Models will grace the runway wearing various outfits. Designed solely by UW students, these clothings range are made of different materials, from tarps to chicken lard. Featured designs have been curated through selecting some material waste from the e-waste and trash bins on the UW campus.

Individually, the designers have spent over 200 hours creating the pieces of artwork.

Project Trashion is an UW club, run by student volunteers. Owner and founder, is Yoshi Matsuzaki, an environment and business student.

“Values that we want to provide are affordability, creativity [as well as] educating and raising awareness with a creative perspective,” Matsuzaki said.

THE UNION will be held from 1 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a trade show taking place throughout the duration of the day, and fashion shows held at 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and again from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The tradeshow will allow for attendees to engage with the local companies and businesses that are present to learn more about sustainability practices within their specific industries.

Matsuzaki hopes that this will provide people with the opportunity to educate themselves on how they can incorporate sustainable and environmentally friendly practices into their everyday lives.

“The main goal of the Union is to use art and fashion as a medium to showcase the waste we produce,” Matsuzaki said. “The whole idea is that we want people to be emotionally invested and showcase that these clothes do exist. Affordable, sustainable options of clothing can exist.”

“Clothing is synonymous with being a human being,” he said. “It’s a form of expression, it’s something we wear on a daily basis and whether we like it or not, clothes are part of our daily lives. Clothes are universal.”

Photo by Yoshi Matsuzaki

Matsuzaki encourages people following the fashion show to engage with the local companies and businesses at the tradeshow. “We are recommending businesses that distribute through sustainable and fair-trade qualities,” he said.

The tradeshow will provide individuals with the solutions to be sustainable. “We don’t want to state the obvious. We want to pose the solutions,” Matsuzaki said.

“The three takeaways from the event are to consume consciously, consume creatively, and ask yourself the question, ‘Do I really need that?’,” he said. “It’s a call to action.”

The proceeds from the event will be donated to The Working Center in Kitchener. According to their website, this nonprofit organization “gives people access to tools to create their own work combined with continuous ways of learning and co-operating.”

A limited number of physical copies and electric versions of a look book from the event will also be available for purchase.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at their website at www.projecttrashion.com

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