Calgarians Create Garbage Fashion to Highlight ‘Big Problem’ of Waste

Connector Summer 2019

They salvaged under the kitchen sink and in recycling bins, and now some Calgarians are using what they found to spread the word on sustainable fashion.

People with the Humainologie non-profit group are turning trash into wearable items for an event they’re calling Garbage Couture.

“The clothes that we’re going to be wearing at the event are not clothes that we’re suggesting people head out on the town in,” Humainologie CEO Salima Stanley-Bhanji said.

Among the items being created for the event is a dress made of a plastic garbage bag, decorated with things like a used toothpaste tube, bottle caps and cut up dish washing gloves.

“In the fast fashion industry, it’s really easy to dispose of an item and not really think about it,” Humainologie’s Quinn Lazenby said. “So we want to showcase the waste and make people realize how much they’re actually polluting.”

The Garbage Couture event happens between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on both Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21 at the Humainologie store and gallery at 1514 7th St. SW in Calgary.

“When we think about recycling and the environment, we don’t really think about our fashion choices,” Humainologie’s Jaden Tsan said. “It’s important to bring attention to that.”

Tsan and Lazenby were working together to create headbands adorned with discarded water bottles and pop cans, hoping they’ll encourage people to think twice before throwing their unwanted clothes in the garbage.

“Things like taking it to (a) consignment (store) or a charity bin or maybe organizing a clothing swap with some of your friends.”

Stanley-Bhanji hopes seeing people wearing the clothing salvaged from the trash will really help get the sustainability message across.

“I mean, if we were forced to wear all the garbage we create? Wow!”