Engadine High School at Youth Eco Summit 2018

Waste Not - Trashion

Young people today are so worried about the planet! We get it. That’s why we designed WASTE NOT Trashion. We don’t preach, we make it fun. Creating a couture collection made entirely from “wasted” materials teaches teenagers the power of imagination.  They learn skills like knitting and re-making to design new clothes from rubbish. They analyse their favourite brands and their values.  Then they create a communications strategy to promote their trashion collections. 

The message is simple – together we can create a sustainable future. By becoming proactive “conscious consumers” we can save the planet from waste and pollution. 

In 2020 we’ve transitioned WASTE NOT Trashion into the digital space by working with the Youth Eco Summit and our partners at the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. In previous years different schools have competed for various prizes donated by a range of awesome sponsors and ethical brands.  In 2020 our Trashion collections will live-stream through the Department of Education website and we are working exclusively with the amazing staff and students of the award-winning Nepean CAPA high-school. It’s a project that makes connections between what we eat, wear and throw away, and we know it will blow your ethical socks off! Stay tuned.


Learning how to create WASTE NOT Trashion is a fascinating process involving research into packaging pollution, finding the solutions to negative human impacts on the planet, and creating awareness of the toxic wastefulness of the global fashion industry. 

Whether in the arts, fashion or recycling sectors, we only work with organisations that set a great example because they are already on a sustainability journey.

Creating WASTE NOT Trashion is a way to empower a whole new generation of ‘conscious consumers” to change the world! 

Northmead 2019 Trashion Runway
Northmead 2019 Trashion Runway
Northmead 2019 Trashion Runway

Our Pilot Project

In 2018 we launched the Mash It Up! pilot project with our partner Sydney Olympic Park Authority. To address waste, pollution and raging apocalypse-anxiety, we decided to challenge teenagers with something they are all obsessed with – fast fashion!

The student teams worked for 3 months to create a collection of trashion couture solely from waste materials – knitting, weaving and sewing everything from old cds to straws and plastic bags into gowns, cloaks, and accessories. They also developed multi-media communications to compliment their message – goodbye toxic fast fashion, hello! waste-free world. 

In September at the annual Youth Eco Summit our teams paraded their spectacular couture before a panel of industry judges drawn from the fashion, recycling and fine arts sectors, and competed for prizes such as Best Messaging, Best Trashion and Most Resourceful.

Teachers and students from Nepean CAPA and Engadine High school wowed the audience with the power of their imaginations – Game of Throwns and A Dumpster Wedding For the End of the World were brilliant collections that no-one had to die for. In 2019 Nepean CAPA and Northmead CAPA battled for trashion dominance with Earth Wind And Fire competing against The Last Supper of Fast Food. 

In 2020 we are back brighter and bolder than ever. Thanks to our generous sponsors and the talent of participating students and staff, the WASTE NOT Trashion project is on target to fulfill our five year development plan. Check out our trashion blogs for updates.