From rags to recycled costumes: Designers transform St. Vincent de Paul scrap clothing

Fashion designers will transform clothing scraps into elaborate costumes in the next two months. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - Lane County fashion designers are living out the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure."

Fashion designers rummaged through damaged clothing scraps at St. Vincent De Paul’s Seneca location.

They will use the materials to create runway outfits for St. Vinny’s Earth Day Metamorphose Upcycle challenge, which is a community art challenge.

The participating fashion designers are all battling against each other, competing to create amazing outfits for the fashion show.

The catch is their material options.

"T-shirts and stuff that aren't suitable for sale in our stores. Things like linens, table cloths, neck ties that are out of style, things that usually have condition issues,” said Mitra Demirza, the in-house designer for St. Vincent De Paul.

When choosing the materials, the fashion designers were timed while rotating between fourteen barrels filled with clothing items.

“Well when you're dealing with a bunch of pieces and parts it's kind of hard to fit them together when you don't know what the next barrel is going to be,” said Fashion Designer Cindy Doe.

“I found, like, a little piece of, like, studs that were in the miscellaneous and I grabbed all the foam for upholstery so that's going to be really cool for armor for my costume,” said first time participating Fashion Designer Kelly Eriksen.

The contestants will have nearly two months to create a street fashion outfit and a costume show piece for the runway.

Last year's winning fashion designer Renne Phillips says new requirements could make this year more difficult.

"Last year with all the alternative stuff was pretty fun so this one might be a little more of a challenge,” she said.

Despite the challenge, every year the outfits turn out better than they started.

“It’s always blown me away. I’m just so proud of our designers and what they can do with these materials. They're so talented and this is what the show is all about is highlighting what they're capable of doing with waste materials," said Demirza.

The final stylish creations will be judged by the community at St. Vincent De Paul’s Metamorphose Earth Day celebration event.

Demirza said the event consists of many community art challenges.

She said the fashion design challenge has been happening for four years. The art challenge is in its third year and there’s also a first-year product design challenge.

Metamorphose will take place at the wheeler pavilion in Eugene on earth day, April 22 at 6pm.

Check out last year’s event by following this link:

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