June 15, 2013

Repurposed: Kids, Trash & Fashion. ~ The Scrapsisters

Repurposing common junk shows people an alternative way to interact with their trash.

The Scrapsisters face several problems that have sprung up at once:

First, the Recycled Runway show—to be held at The Boulder Theatre—is approaching quickly and a fabulous set needs to be built.

Second, a group of 15 students at a local high school have been snowed out of their Community Experience at a nearby farm and are searching for a constructive learning adventure.

The scrapsisters use trash, community building and happiness to solve these dilemmas. When starting a project, the scrapsisters always turn to the alleys to find building materials “We scour the alleys to keep the landfills squeaky clean.”

The stage of a fashion show is big and it will take an impressive set to fill it, so the scrapsisters choose one of the most abundant “large” pieces of trash: shipping pallets. With 40 pallets, newspaper, used dressmaking patterns, old doors and barbwire, the scrapsisters get to work.

They are determined to build the very best reclaimed materials theatre set ever—but how? With only a few days left until the fashion show, how are they ever going to finish such a big project on their own? It’s their most ambitious design pursuit yet and the scrapsisters are in a little over their heads! It is going to take a trash miracle.

It works out perfectly when one of their community partners, Sarah Tracy with Recycled Runway, tracks down the local High School’s Community Experience students, who are twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do.

Suddenly, the scrapsisters have 15 capable volunteers to help them build the sets. With all of these nimble hands, it takes only three days to embellish the pallets, prepare the sculptures, form barbed wire chandeliers and cut out the letters to the word “SCRAP” with old doors and signage.

The kids save the day and have a ton of fun while learning how to create sets for the Recycled Runway fashion show.

Recycled Runway is a local fashion design competition, for girls ages 10 to 18, who are challenged to use only trash as their materials.

One participant, while hunting in her alley for materials, finds a billboard advertising an NSYNC concert from 2000, signed by all five original members, including Justin Timberlake! Her dress screams pop music!  Showcasing celebrities’ discards demonstrates how everyone has a connection to trash.

Other heroes of this story are members of the The Dumpster Squad, from Western Disposal and McGuckin Hardware, who come to the rescue and help with assembly and delivery of the sets.

The sets exceed everyone’s expectations. The dresses are fabulous. Boulder enjoys a high fashion evening. The level of fashion design puts a lot of pressure on this year’s celebrity judges. Trash is celebrated as it is elevated to high-level fashion and production design.

Watch the video slideshow of Building a Set with Kids + Trash:


the scrapsisters building a set with kids + trash from Dagwood Land and Cattle on Vimeo.

The Dumpster Squad is a group of partners whose mission is to build community, spread happiness and solve problems with trash— their mission is to educate local students and teachers through free reclaimed materials art workshops.

Many thanks to the community sponsors who helped build Sets with Kids + Trash!

The Scrapsisters teach people to rediscover happiness by realizing the potential in objects that get discarded everyday. By turning trash into treasure, we provide access to achievable joy. We Put the Glitter on the Litter and Let the Trash do the Talking.


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Ed: Sara Crolick/Assistant Ed. Rebecca Schwarz



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